Mayor Ted Gatsas

Aug 4, 2015 8:21 PM

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas releases 60-day plan for battling NH heroin epidemic

MANCHESTER - Mayor Ted Gatsas of Manchester says his city needs to be more innovative when dealing with heroin and other opioids.

"Just today, I had another parent stop in and say, 'You know, Mayor, we need to talk about the fact that this could affect anybody at any time. It's affected me and I never thought it would ever affect me,'" Gatsas told NH1 News Tuesday. "Parents are talking about it, addicts are talking about it, and we need to find a solution."

Gatsas has an action plan he thinks will work. He presented it Monday, during a meeting of a special committee on alcohol, drugs and youth services.

The plan calls for supporting law enforcement, getting people who have overdosed into treatment, educating children about the dangers of these drugs and developing a continuum of care for those affected.

Gatsas says he recently met with all three of the city's hospitals, and it was the first time anyone has asked them to join the conversation. He plans to meet with the city's pharmacies next.

Gatsas says it is very important that Hillsborough County North Superior Court starts a drug court. Similar programs throughout the state have been successful, according to officials.

A drop box for unused prescriptions, which is already available in other large communities in New Hampshire, is also something Gatsas is looking for.

Gatsas says he understands the heroin problem will not be fixed in 60 days, but says the implementation of his recommendations will be a good start.

Follow Kimberley Haas on Twitter @KHaasNH1.


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