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Feb 21, 2017 4:47 PM

Politicians take a whack at the state's drug epidemic

Source: NH1.COM

MANCHESTER – Many of the top political leaders in New Hampshire teamed up on Tuesday for the groundbreaking of a substance use treatment center in Manchester.

Sen. Maggie Hassan, Gov. Chris Sununu, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, state Senate President Chuck Morse, longtime state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro of Manchester, and state Sen. Dan Feltes of Concord, among others, gathered at the former Hoitt Furniture building on Wilson Street for the groundbreaking ceremony of the expansion of the Families in Transition Family Willows Substance Use Treatment Center.

The politicians donned hard hats and took some whacks with sledge hammers at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the facility.

Families in Transition says the new center will enable some 400 women each year to “receive the treatment that they need in order to get their lives back.”

And Families in Transition board chairman Dick Anagnost says that for the first time ever his organization “will now be able to provide 19 units of recovery housing for women with and without children.”

Gov. Chris Sununu told NH1 News the groundbreaking is “another key puzzle piece in terms of everything we do from prevention, recovery, treatment, law enforcement side.”

He added it’s “a great example of the state finally putting a real emphasis on ideas, making ideas a reality. And that reality really helps families. It helps individuals. It helps women and children, especially right here in downtown Manchester. And providing a resource that right now we are still lacking, but really making some great efforts and improvements on.”

“We’re going to slowly turn the tide and start to see our numbers go in the favorable direction. But it’s not just downtown Manchester. It’s all across New Hampshire. It’s every town, county, community, every family. There’s virtually no one in the state that this crisis doesn’t’ have an impact on. And again just to see projects like this come to reality are huge,” the governor continued.

Speaking with NH1 News, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas hailed the new facility as “another step in the whole puzzle that we’re putting together to make sure that we remove stigma from the epidemic that we have here in the city of Manchester and our people.”

“This is about helping mothers and their children, which is incredibly important. So when people think that it doesn’t stop, it’s truly continuing right here in the city of Manchester. All the funding that they give us, we can find ways to spend it on projects that make sense for people that are addicted to these awful drugs,” the mayor added.

Hassan said the new center “will help make a difference in the lives of Granite Staters living with addiction by providing critical treatment and recovery services around the clock, and I commend Family Willows Substance Use Treatment Center and Families in Transition for their tireless efforts to combat this crisis.”

“I will continue working to ensure that those on the front lines of this crisis, including the dedicated professionals at Family Willows Substance Use Treatment Center, have the resources and support they need to stem – and ultimately reverse – the tide of this horrible epidemic,” the senator added.

Families in Transition, a non-profit organization “that provides safe, affordable housing and social services to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless,” says construction on the $4 million project will begin next month.

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