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Mar 1, 2016 5:46 PM

Manchester officials: Record number of people died of a suspected drug overdose in February

NH1.com

MANCHESTER - Manchester officials said a record setting number of people died of a suspected overdose in the month of February.

According to American Medical Response (AMR) 60 people overdosed, 14 died last month.

Mayor Ted Gatsas said action needs to be taken and he's frustrated the state 'Drug Czar' position, vacated by Jack Wozmak February 1st, has yet to be filled. Gatsas is considering a run for Governor and is criticizing current Governor Maggie Hassan for not finding a replacement.

"I would have thought that when he gave his notice that's when they would have started looking so they could have had a replacement," Gatsas said.

Governor Hassan told NH1 News the job is important and worthy of careful consideration.

"It's really important that we fill this position expeditiously, but we want to make sure that we have the right person with the right skill set and so I'm balancing the need to do it quickly with the importance of doing it right," Hassan said.

A spokesperson from the Governor's office also addressed the topic.

"The Governor is in the midst of a thorough process to select the most qualified person from a talented pool of interested candidates, and she is aggressively continuing the interview process in order to fill the position as quickly as possible," said William Hinkle.

"If Mayor Gatsas would like to be a constructive part of the process, we would welcome his advocacy, which we have yet to see, on the public policy steps that would actually help stem the tide of this epidemic," he said.

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