Nov 3, 2015 6:17 PM

Police chief thinks increasing arrests could curb NH heroin epidemic

WOODSTOCK - Police Chief Doug Moorhead wants to make a change to help curb the drug problem in New Hampshire. He wants more arrests to get people who need help in the drug courts for treatment.

"If you've saved somebody three times with Narcan and you just kick them back out onto the street, within a matter of hours, they can be getting heroin again," said Moorhead. "That system is insane."

The state has created drug court programs recently that take people who have been arrested, dealing with addiction and bring them an ultimatum – receive counseling and rehabilitation three to four times a week, utilize the program and have the charges dropped OR not use the treatment and face jail time.

Many drug abusers who are not getting the help past Narcan. That's who Moorhead wants to reach by getting support to make those arrests to filter them to the drug courts and confront their problems with state resources.

"We need to bridge that gap in some way to get them to treatment," Moorhead said. "There's a huge gap and it needs to be taken care of immediately."

Many legislatures agree that more action needs to be taken.

State Senator Dave Boutin said that people used to be most concerned about jobs, the economy and taxes.

"Well, today people in the state of New Hampshire say the number one issue is combating the drug epidemic," Boutin said.

The Drug Courts in the state cost $12,000 per person participating. Compare that to the cost per year, per inmate - $40,000.

While there would be an upfront cost to fund the drug courts, Moorhead says it will actually save tax dollars over time.

Moorehead has one idea of how to get funding to get more beds and treatments center.

"Gas prices are at an all new low and when we were paying almost $4 last year, now we're paying $2.05 a gallon. If you added a 20 cent a gallon tax to fund the treatment centers, nobody would notice."

The solution is not easy as heroin and opioid use and overdose is increasing daily.


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