New Hampshire Drug Addiction
This article gives an overview of the drug addiction scene in New Hampshire. But behind the addiction problem is the trafficking business.
The focal point of New Hampshire’s drug trafficking is Manchester in the southern part of the state. Drug dealers most often acquire their supplies from the Lowell, Massachusetts area just a few miles away. Cocaine, some of which is converted to crack cocaine, and heroin are the primary drugs that travel on this channel.
Nearly all the cocaine and heroin sold and used in this area are sourced out of New York City, one of the primary drug distribution points in the country. Other drugs are trafficked across the remote and largely unpatrolled Canadian border.
National and Local Gangs Control Much of Retail Distribution of Cocaine and Heroin
Much of the drug activity in the Manchester region is controlled by gangs, either national gangs that have been growing in strength, or copycat gangs that have arisen in the last few years. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has established a New Hampshire Safe Streets Gang Task Force to counteract the influence of gangs and drug traffickers in the area. In April 2009, the Task Force reported the seizure of 45 kilograms of cocaine and nearly a quarter of a million dollars from seven suspected gang members in an attractive suburban home outside Manchester.
Much of the property crime in the state is thought to be drug- and gang-related. These crimes include thefts from corner stores, banks and gas stations and home invasion robberies. Unfortunately, prisons and jails serve as breeding grounds and recruitment pools for gang members. More local youth follow the examples of national gangs and establish their own gangs in outlying areas, further compounding the problems from gang activity.
Canadian Drug Traffickers Contribute to the Problem
Potent hydroponic marijuana and synthetics such as MDMA (ecstasy) and controlled prescription drugs such as oxycodone or benzodiazepines come across the Canada-U.S. border, not just for local use but also destined for other regions of the U.S. Weapons and cash pass across the border to the north.
As the southern border of the United States is patrolled by far more personnel than the northern border, the ratio of seized drugs to trafficked drugs is thought to be low in the north.
Marijuana is the most widely abused drug in the state and Canada’s hydroponic marijuana is far more potent than Mexican commercial-grade marijuana. Analysis of commercial-grade Mexican marijuana shows levels of marijuana’s active ingredient (THC) as high as 9 percent, up from three percent two decades ago. Hydroponic marijuana from Canada may have a potency as high as 25 percent THC. The higher the THC, the more likely it is that a user will become dependent or addicted.
Southern Part of New Hampshire Sees Deaths, Suicides Related to Drug Abuse and Addiction
Based on 2007 reports from the Drug Abuse Warning Network, three counties in the southern part of the state experienced 89 deaths and 21 suicides in which drug abuse was involved. These three counties are Rockingham County, Strafford County, and Hillsborough County which includes Manchester. Nearly all the deaths involved multiple drugs with the exception of a few opiate and cocaine deaths. Alcohol was involved in about a third of all deaths.
By the time high school students graduate in New Hampshire, six out of ten of them have smoked marijuana. More than a third are current users of the drug. About a fifth have used cocaine.
Alcohol sends the most people into drug rehabilitation facilities, accounting for nearly half of all admissions in 2008. Opiates such as heroin, methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, methadone, Suboxone, morphine, and codeine contribute another 25 percent of those seeking addiction treatment and cocaine adds approximately 10 percent of the addicts who enter rehab centers. Since 2008 heroin abuse has climbed dramatically with New Hampshire reported as having the 3rd highest in opioid-related deaths in 2016.
Effective Drug Rehabilitation and Drug Abuse Prevention Needed in New Hampshire
What is needed for New Hampshire citizens is substance abuse treatment centers that enable drug and alcohol addicts to leave drugs and alcohol behind them and in which they can learn to live productive, enjoyable lives again.
Substance abuse treatment for alcohol consumption or drug abuse must work holistically for it to have a lasting effect. In other words, it must treat the damaging effects of substance abuse on the body but then it must also help the addict learn how to build a new drug-free life, sometimes from the ground up, when addiction has destroyed everything.
A thorough detoxification followed by counseling and life skills training enables a person in a drug program to see things in a whole new light so they can live an enjoyable, productive life again. This is the way the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program works.