The Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse joined New Hampshire Rep. Annie Kuster in Hanover Tuesday afternoon. They spoke as part of a discussion on the opioid crisis hosted by Dartmouth College.
New Hampshire's so-called "drug czar" is stepping down.
James Vara, who held the position for the past year, has been nominated by Gov. Chris Sununu to serve as Chief of Staff for the Attorney General. The Executive Council must approve Vara's new position at next week's meeting.
A New Hampshire physician's assistant was arrested Friday by federal agents on allegations he received kickbacks for prescribing large amounts of an opioid painkiller. According to officials, Clough was the state's top prescriber of a fentanyl spray called Subsys.
Their mug shots are now regularly featured in the news -- people swept up in Operation Granite Hammer, an anti-drug enforcement program that started in 2015. Since then, police have made more than 100 drug arrests. They have been particularly tough on dealers whose deals turn lethal, pursuing long sentences in those cases. But many on the treatment end warn tough sentences and tactics do little to quell the demand for drugs, and dealers themselves are often addicts, who need care, not incarceration.
When President Barack Obama signed the “21st Century Cures Act” into law last year, New Hampshire officials anticipated getting $10 million over the next biennium. That number has dropped to $6 million.