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Mar 11, 2016 10:52 AM

Senate bill adds drug addiction to NH child neglect laws

The Associated Press

CONCORD (AP) — The New Hampshire Senate has voted to give the state's child protection agency more power to intervene immediately in cases where a parent is abusing drugs or a child is born with a drug dependence.

New Hampshire is in the midst of a heroin and opioid crisis, with drug overdose deaths topping 400 in 2015. The bill explicitly adds a parents' dependence or abuse of opioids or a diagnosis of drug addiction at birth into the state law defining child neglect.

The bill passed unanimously, despite concerns from two Republican senators about potential overreach by the state's health department.

The bill now moves to the New Hampshire House.

Senators also approved a bill to extend the period of time that child abuse reports remain on file.

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