WHAT ARE OPIOIDS AND WHY ARE THEY A PROBLEM?
Opioids are substances that are used to treat pain. There are legally prescribed forms and there are illegal opioids. Heroin is an illegal opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine. It is a highly addictive drug that acts as a depressant and slows the body’s functions. Fentanyl is a highly potent opioid that can be legally prescribed in carefully measured doses but it can also be illegally mixed with heroin, or abused on its own. The potency of the heroin, especially when mixed with fentanyl can cause an overdose, many of which have been fatal.
For many, opioid addiction starts with a prescription opioid that is either prescribed to them or obtained illegally.
In the last few years the seacoast area of NH, along with regions across the country, has seen a significant increase in the number of users and consequences related to use. As of October of 2016 there have been 11 fatal drug overdoses and nearly 50 non-fatal overdoses in Dover.
For more information on heroin and other drugs, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT THE PROBLEM?
The Dover Police Department and Dover Coalition for Youth committed to a comprehensive and compassionate response to the heroin crisis. We want to improve the community’s understanding of the problem and we will help anyone struggling with addiction to get connected with treatment and recovery resources. We have developed a comprehensive strategy to help address the heroin crisis our community is facing. In addition to the Community Access to Recovery Program described above, the plan includes:
- Increase Awareness: The Police Department has developed a media campaign that helps bring awareness to the problem and attention to solutions. To learn more about the “If I’d Known” campaign visit our media page.
- Reducing Access to Opioids: The Dover Police Department will assist you with safely disposing of your medications. At any time, the police department will accept unneeded, unwanted, or expired medications. Simply come to the police department and turn them in to an officer. Getting unused, unneeded or expired opioids out of your home is one of the best prevention strategies. This service goes beyond the annual drug take back days which take place twice a year. On these days, members of the public came come to any of the hundreds of participating police departments and anonymously drop off medications to be destroyed.
- Education: We are working to educate the community about the problem and solutions to solving this epidemic. Presentations have been developed for both parents and high school students. We have also conducted training for our first responders and employers in the area. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation contact Vicki Hebert (email@example.com).
- Support to Anyone Struggling with Addiction: The Dover Police Department has developed resource cards that are distributed at the scene of any overdose, or to anyone who is identified as potentially struggling with addiction. In addition to the resource cards the PD has committed to calling anyone who has overdosed to provide follow up support and assistance in finding treatment.
- The New Hampshire Statewide Addiction Crisis Line is toll-free at 1-844-711-4357 (HELP)
- Strafford County and Surrounding Area Treatment Guide provides a comprehensive list of treatment options in the area, lists the type of treatment, and payment methods including insurance info. http://onevoicenh.org/assets/referral%20guide%20booklet%20(revised).pdf
- NH Treatment Locator allows you to search treatment options throughout the state of New Hampshire. http://nhtreatment.org/
- Families Hoping and Coping has weekly support group meetings for anyone who loves someone struggling with addiction. https://www.facebook.com/familieshopingandcoping/?fref=ts
- Goodwin Community Health can provide support enrolling in a healthcare plan and navigating treatment resources. http://goodwinch.org/
- SOS Recovery Community Organization works to reduce stigma and harm associated with addictive disorders by providing safe space and peer-based supports for people in all stages of recovery. They currently have centers open in Rochester and Durham. For more info visit http://straffordrecovery.org/