Apr 15, 2016 8:29 PM
NH1 Chief Investigative Reporter - NH1.com
MANCHESTER — For nearly a year, we’ve been on the front lines of a drug crisis to show you how police and policymakers are trying to combat the drug problem.
What you haven’t seen though, is the impact the crisis is having on young people in the community – young people using, young people exposed to people using, and young people dealing. It’s the ugly truth that first responders from Manchester Police Department's Street Crime Unit and American Medical Response (AMR) deal with every day.
For 21-year-old Cody Ferry, having a place to do laundry is a luxury. Ferry has been homeless for nearly two years. When he’s not visiting Manchester’s Youth Resource Center, he’s on the streets, begging for money, so he can buy a spot on a couch for the night from someone he calls his "street brother."
"If I don’t come home with money I have to stay outside," Ferry said. "If I do come home with money then I can stay inside."
He’s also pleading for opportunity.
"I heard maybe three or four times, 'get a [expletive] job,'" Ferry said. "Well, how am I supposed to get a job if nobody wants to give me that opportunity to get experience to get a job? It’s just a vicious cycle that will never end. Manchester sucks."
Ferry's struggles on the streets of Manchester began when he started using drugs.
"My drug of choice? Crystal meth. I’ve been addicted to it for almost four years now," Ferry said.
He described the appeal of a meth high.
"I like the shadow people are cool, you’re supposed to look at them as friends," Ferry said. "They’re just figures, [waving his hand past the side of his face] shadow figures that go past your vision. I don’t know. I don’t like the drug. There’s part of me that likes it, there’s part of me that loves it. Then there’s part of me that hates it."
What Ferry hates even more is how he had to pay for those drugs.
"To be honest, I used to sell myself to male prostitutes to support my habit," Ferry said. "Pretty degrading, I know, but it is what it is. You can’t make friends lying, right? You have to be honest with people. So, I’m being honest with you."
Ferry said there are many others like him on the streets of the Queen City.
"People should help us because we're really going downhill. Because most of us are probably going to end up dead," he said.
"Drug addiction is all around us," Manchester Police Chief, Nick Willard said. "Just as I am driving the neighborhood right now, I could pick out five or six people right now that are strung out on heroin of some kind. I’ve poured so much of my sweat equity in this fight, and when we’re having a record number in February... I don't know what I am doing. I hate to tell you, it’s frustrating, deflating. I am at a point, this is the most discouraging, um, thing I’ve ever experienced.”
So far this year, the Unit has made 179 drug arrests, 152 for possession and 27 for sales. That’s an average of less than two arrest per day.
"It’s a mess, it’s a big mess," Regional Director of AMR, Chris Stawatz said. "I don’t know if we’re going to solve it, but we definitely have to control it."
Stawatz says the number of suspected opioid overdose calls they’ve responded to, are on track to quadruple this year over 2013.
Tuesday night, AMR crews were called to an overdose at a Cedar Street home where a 36-year- old man was found unresponsive, and sadly, not alone.
"There were a number of children there from all different ages, like three to 14 years old plus other family members," Station Manager of AMR, Rocco Caprarello said.
After receiving six doses of narcan to revive him, the man and a three-year- old girl who may have picked up and pricked herself with his dirty needle, were taken to a local hospital.
"It’s sad, you know, especially when there are kids involved," Caprarello said. "The kids seem to be dealing with it well. I mean, it makes you think, is this something that is commonplace for them? When this happens they just go on with their lives."
And then there are those like Ferry, who are willing to share their stories and their struggles to drive change.
"We should all help each other, you know? There are some people out there that help, you know, but there needs to be more people that show, you know, care-ness," Ferry said.
This is just part one of our series "On the Front Lines – Children in Crisis." As we continue to bring you these stories, we want to hear from you. Do you have a story you want to tell? Questions you want our leaders to answer? Email Celine McArthur, or send her a message on Facebook or Twitter to keep the conversation going.
5 hours 31 minutes agoA Stoddard woman who shot and killed her estranged husband in February 2017 will not face any charges. (More)
5 hours 7 minutes agoNew Hampshire transgender woman weighs in on President Trump reinstating ban on transgender people in the military. (More)
4 hours 47 minutes ago
Jul 25, 2017 5:28 PMThe AG's Office released videos, dispatch audio and photographs from a private citizen's cell phone of an officer-involved shooting on I-89 in May. (More)
Jul 25, 2017 2:27 PMA NH man was arrested by police Monday and charged with assault for the vicious attack in June on a Planet Fitness employee. (More)
Jul 25, 2017 2:00 PMNew signs put up around the Queen City aim to deter drivers from giving money to panhandlers and instead support resources for the homeless...
Jul 25, 2017 5:42 PM
Jul 24, 2017 4:05 PMA woman accused of trying to steal a 21-month-old girl out of a moving car lost custody of her own 6-month-old son because of...
Jul 24, 2017 3:29 PMRochester police have arrested a man accused of brutally attacking a Planet Fitness employee as she left work for the night. (More)
Jul 24, 2017 12:50 PMA 10-year-old girl has been struck and killed by a vehicle after getting out of a car that had pulled over on the Massachusetts...
Jul 24, 2017 2:36 PMJoe Sharron from Windham was involved in an accident while in Mexico last December. He stopped breathing for 24 minutes and suffered a spinal...
Jul 24, 2017 9:37 AMPolice say Martin De Los Santos was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. (More)
Jul 24, 2017 7:53 AMA Haverhill, Mass., man is facing charges after police say he shoved the boy while in a ball pit at a party rental space...
Jul 24, 2017 7:26 AMThe home's cluttered interior caused problems for firefighters responding to the early-morning blaze Monday. (More)
Jul 23, 2017 10:53 AMA New Hampshire teen crashed into a tree sending both himself and his passenger to the hospital. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 8:34 PMAccording to Fish and Game officials, one New Hampshire man has been pronounced dead after kayakers find him in the Upper Ammonoosuc River. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 6:20 PMA police officer in New Hampshire was assisted by one local resident when trying to apprehend a fleeing suspect. (More)
Jul 21, 2017 3:56 PMIf you want to make a splash, you should look (at this story) before you leap. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 7:41 PMAuthorities in Massachusetts say a woman has been charged in connection with the death of her boyfriend. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 9:42 AMThe New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says emergency responders have removed the body of a hiker whose body was found in the Dry...
Jul 21, 2017 2:59 PMWhen the next car pulled up to the traffic detail, she frantically told police that a cat was trapped on the roof of the...
Jul 20, 2017 2:34 PMWork has begun on the property that will soon house New Hampshire's newest indoor gun range. (More)
Jul 21, 2017 8:41 AMThunderstorms hit quickly in parts of central and southern NHThursday afternoon, producing wind gusts powerful enough to knock down trees and power lines. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 9:53 AMThe Salem man's suit seeks $5.5 million for punitive damages after his car was towed and stored by a Methuen, Mass., company after an...
Jul 21, 2017 7:37 AMThe body of a New Jersey man who went missing in the White Mountains was found Thursday. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 5:11 PMNearly 4,000 customers are without power. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 4:27 PMAn investigation has determined that a gas-powered generator is to blame for the carbon monoxide poisoning death of a man in Litchfield earlier this...
Jul 20, 2017 11:16 AMThe owner of a truck may be facing charges after leaving his dog in a truck Wednesday afternoon when the temperature was in the...
Jul 19, 2017 11:15 AMChester police officer conducts adorable "traffic stop" on Edwards Mill Road Tuesday night. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 3:56 PMThe neighborhood where a 6-year-old boy apparently overdosed is familiar with the opioid crisis. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 5:38 PMThe community is mourning Ciara Brill who passed away Tuesday after battling a rare brain cancer. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 2:27 PMA Maine woman who fled to safety amid a deadly rampage says her boyfriend's father promised not to hurt her as he killed his...
Jul 20, 2017 7:11 AMArizona Sen. McCain tells Sen. Lindsey Graham, "I'll be back" following treatments after cancer discovered cancerous tumor last week. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 10:27 AMNew Hampshire is likely to get the second heat wave of the summer the next few days. Some tips on how to beat the...
Jul 19, 2017 11:22 AMAMR personnel revived a 6-year-old boy with Narcan after they found him unresponsive in Manchester. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 9:38 AMThe Manchester Veterans Administration hospital reported a "catastrophic mechanical failure" at about 4 a.m. which flooded parts of the facility. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 7:19 AMSeveral area fire departments help fight the afternoon fire. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 7:49 AMA New Hampshire lobsterman has joined an elite club after catching a rare blue lobster. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 3:22 PMA new study shows boxed macaroni and cheese has more than 4 times the amount of harmful chemical than other cheeses. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 8:13 PMNH will become the 22nd state in the nation to decriminalize simple marijuana possession thanks to a bill Governor Sununu signed into law Tuesday....
Jul 18, 2017 12:45 PMA Troy man faces 20 charges after he allegedly fled from police while drunken driving. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 12:18 PMA former dean of students at Pembroke Academy was in court Tuesday following two previous missed appearances. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 3:10 PMRochester Police had previously gotten reports that the wanted man would 'not be taken alive' and 'would shoot any officer that tried arresting him.'...
Jul 17, 2017 4:04 PMEight-month-old baby Colton recently diagnosed with a fatal genetic disease. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 12:16 PMSununu ranked towards the middle of the pack, coming in as the 19th most approved governor with a 57 percent approval rating. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 1:05 PMNew Hampshire's attorney general says a search is being conducted at a home where the bodies of two women were found in January. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 3:32 PMPolice arrest a New Hampshire man after witnesses say he dragged a woman out of his vehicle, punched her, and left her unconscious in...
Jul 17, 2017 2:06 PMA boating accident that killed a 12-year-old girl happened after her father's hat blew from his head. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 3:49 PMThose who visited Hampton Beach during the afternoon on July 9 should monitor themselves for measles symptoms. (More)