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Nov 13, 2015 6:07 PM

Bedford summit focuses on safe painkiller prescribing practices

NH1.com

BEDFORD- Law enforcement, first responders and healthcare workers gathered Friday to talk about ways curb the heroin epidemic.

The summit was put on by Catholic Medical Center to discuss safe prescribing practices. Manchester stakeholders, including Mayor Ted Gatsas, spoke out about the alarming number of overdose deaths. Gatsas brought up the recent death of Rochester teen Eve Tarmey.

The room was filled with those in the medical field who prescribe medications. Organizers say they understand addiction to heroin often stems from the misuse of prescription painkillers. They say they can treat people in the hospital, but once they leave there needs to be a team effort of detox and treatment.

One aspect of the “team effort” is law enforcement. Much like the Eve Tarmey case, now more than ever, police are going after those who supply the drugs in a fatal overdose.

“Now people are starting to investigate those cases and try to find out where the drugs come from. We recently had somebody plead guilty in Littleton, now have this [Tarmey] case, and I think you're going to see more of that,” said NH Attorney General Joseph Foster.

Tarmey died of a fentanyl overdose. At the summit, Mayor Gatsas said he thinks people who sell fentanyl should be charged with attempted murder.

Increasing penalties for fentanyl has been proposed in legislation that will be discussed in special session next week.

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