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Mar 14, 2016 7:49 PM

Sen. Ayotte holds drug epidemic roundtable in Manchester

MANCHESTER - The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions here in the Granite State, and now it's a national crisis.

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas said, "47,000 deaths in 2015 across this country on opioid overdoses."

"The drug dealers don't even know what they're selling anymore," Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard said. "It’s a serial killer."

Last week the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. Senate with a vote of 94-1. A key sponsor of the bill, Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, attended a roundtable at Hope for New Hampshire Recovery in Manchester on Monday to discuss ways to help New Hampshire in the fight against heroin, opioid and drug addiction.

"I do know people who are struggling with addiction I think all of us do," Sen. Ayotte said. "And of course I’ve met so many here in New Hampshire as I’ve gone about this state."

CARA would provide more federal dollars to help states with prevention, treatment, first responders and those in recovery. The hope is to bring about more success stories like those seen at Hope for New Hampshire Recovery.

"They’re making it," director of recovery services Holly Cekla said. "Going back to work. Their doing a better job, getting their kids back. They’re engaged and taking care of health issues."

Sen. Ayotte is now calling on the house to take up and pass the CARA bill immediately.

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