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.
New Hampshire’s alcohol fund, which takes a small portion of state liquor sale revenues and puts it towards substance abuse prevention and treatment, has only been fully funded once since it was created in 2000.
Following promises made during the campaign, Republicans are taking steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act. What will replace the health care law, and which provisions will be spared, is still very much a question in Washington. In New Hampshire, that’s causing unease for many in the substance abuse treatment community.