Experts in Nashua discuss link between opioid crisis and human trafficking
NASHUA — Experts say the opioid addiction crisis is crippling the victims and survivors of another tragedy: human trafficking.
“Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t real,” said Dr. Hanni Marie Stoklosa, executive director of HEAL Trafficking told the Union Leader.
Drugs are part of the grooming process that victims of human trafficking experience, and this means survivors must often cope with detox, depression, and suicidal tendencies, according to Stoklosa, who was speaking at a human trafficking conference hosted by St. Joseph Hospital on Friday.
She added that in some cases, parents are trafficking their children to fuel their own drug addictions, and trap houses are being run where addicts arrive looking for drugs, but then are not permitted to leave.
There have been at least 23 recorded investigations dealing with forced labor since 2013, and that number is on the rise, reports the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire.