May 31, 2016 6:07 PM
The heroin epidemic is still front and center in New Hampshire, but it isn’t as simple as what most people see.
That’s what one woman – who wanted her identity kept a secret - told NH1 News.
“Money-wise, it's about anywhere from $500 to $1,000 (per day),” she said. “You try to put it out of your head because you don’t want to know that you're spending that much money when you have children to take care of, you have other responsibilities.”
Up to $1,000 a day is what this woman said she spends on heroin alone.
In 2015, the state saw a record number of overdose related deaths, and the numbers are on track to be even higher in 2016.
“Anyone who starts with an opioid addiction – nine out of 10 times they ends up doing heroin,” she said.
The number of people being admitted to state-funded treatment programs rose by 90 percent for heroin and 500 percent for prescription opiate abuse.
The disease can consume anyone, and sometimes even the people right in our closest communities - without us even knowing.
This woman was “a house wife, a mom,” she said. “I was a good person. I was in the PTA. I took my kids to school."
This one woman said she wanted her story heard in hopes to bring awareness to this problem.
“You ruin any relationship you’ve ever had," she said. “The only people you hang out with is other drug addicts. You don’t have friends and family anymore. We’re just maintaining – for most of us, we aren’t even getting high anymore.”
The state is attempting to make strides in this ongoing battle, including seeking harsher punishment for dealers, funding treatment centers and an addiction hotline.
Some cities have even opened their firehouse doors to addicts.
Statistics show thousands of Granite Staters are on heroin - at this very moment. They could be your doctor, lawyer or bus driver.
“It’s not just these people on the street who you see with needles in their arms begging for your change. My group of friends, we all work,” the woman said. “We’re functioning addicts. We all have jobs. We could be your neighbor.”
But there is help available.
“Most people who are struggling with addiction can recover and can resume a productive life a productive career,” Steve Kozak with Tufts Health Plan said. “It's not routinely necessary to let somebody go because they're struggling with addiction.”
If you or anyone you know is struggling with an addiction, seek help immediately.
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