Oct 28, 2015 1:27 PM

NH drug overdoses becomes focus this year for Hassan, Republican legislators

The Associated Press

CONCORD (AP) — Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republican legislative leaders agree that tackling the state's drug abuse crisis must be a top priority when lawmakers return to Concord in January.

Both sides are backing legislation to expand drug courts, strengthen the state's prescription drug monitoring program and treat the potent drug fentanyl the same as heroin, among other things. Of the state's 258 drug overdose this year, 124 were from overdoses of fentanyl, according to the medical examiner's office. The two sides also say the state can do more to assist law enforcement.

Republicans say the state must be careful in its approach to drug policy and don't agree with Hassan's attempts to strengthen the Board of Medicine's rules for prescribing opioids through an emergency rules process.

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