Aug 3, 2015 4:51 PM
LACONIA - The growing heroin epidemic brought together law enforcement, the governor, a U.S. senator and representatives of the N.H. judicial system for a meeting in Laconia Monday.
Taking full ownership that the government has yet to come together to defeat this issue, Gov. Maggie Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen laid out a plan to defeat the growing heroin epidemic.
Their solution is two-fold treatment and prevention.
However the state first needs more funding to add more drug courts.
"If we built it, we can prove that it works and they will fund it rather than the other way around and we have and it's worked,” Judge James Carroll of Laconia said.
Police have been increasingly battling the epidemic, but earlier this year said they were "losing the war on heroin."
"Our law enforcement is doing the best they can," Hassan said. "But they have been telling us for years that we can't arrest our way out of this."
It isn't just a law enforcement issue. But what do you do when the men and women who pledge to protect your community are in dire straits against the state's addiction crisis?
“Rehab's are definitely the way to go," Danielle Christiansen said. "I mean they shouldn't have to be behind bars to survive."
NH1 News brought you Christiansen’s story a month ago when her fiancé, Scott Batchelder was sent to prison because of his heroin addiction.
“He is living proof that prison is where he needs to be to get the help that he needed, she said. "It shouldn't be that way."
Behind bars and awaiting treatment - Hassan said she wants to put a stop to this process.
"People wouldn't need to get to court in the first place," she said.
In her compromised proposal on the budget, she set aside $5.7 million for prevention treatment and the addition of another drug court potentially in Manchester.
However, Christiansen said she's still angry that the government's apparent wake-up call came after her fiancé was sentenced.
"You should be getting my husband out," she said. "He shouldn't be sitting there as far as I’m concerned. Let's move him to rehab now."
Christiansen said it's been about a month, and she's only been able to speak to Batchelder over the phone.
She said he has yet to receive the addiction help that the court mandated.
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