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Jan 14, 2016 5:09 PM

Landrigan: NH Senate approves heroin epidemic bills but splits remain over timing, strategy

CONCORD - A Republican leader had some sobering words as the Senate passed sweeping bills to tackle the drug epidemic.

"This is not a game; this is life and death,’’ said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro.

Another put the use of all drugs - legal and otherwise - into scary perspective.

"We are handing out enough prescription drugs to give every living, breathing person in that state a four month supply non-stop,’’ said Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford.

He says it’s too easy right now to do illegal doctor shopping to get more painkillers.

But another gave emotional testimony about how they can relieve the worst suffering.

"Had it not been for morphine and a lot of it when my sister was in hospice care, she would have died in excruciating pain,’’ Bradley said.

There’s more rancor than that in the ranks as the top Democrat says now the hard work lies ahead.

"The true test lies ahead of us and that is will we put the resources in that we know will make a difference,’’ said Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn of Whitefield.

The message of Senate Republicans to Governor Maggie Hassan: "Show us the money is there."

"In terms of how we spend new dollars we need to see where the last budget closed. We haven’t seen that yet so that’s a problem,’’ Bradley said.

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