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Topic: Addiction Epidemic

addiction epidemic

Addiction Epidemic

The Telegraph explores the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the Nashua region

Read our e-edition here

In this series

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Area professionals say prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions. - One in five New Hampshire high school students said they had taken prescription drugs – such as Oxycodone, Xanax or Adderall – without a prescription in the latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Chuck Rosa swims to ease the pain of losing two sons to drug overdoses. - Rosa, who goes by Chucky, had two sons as a young man. Dominic came in 1981, Vincent two years later. Their deaths were even closer.

Parents live in immediate fear - Long-term solutions are well and good, but do little for parents terrified that any day they'll find their teenage son or daughter dead in their bedroom from an overdose.


The United States has a long history of prescription drug abuse - This chapter of the nation’s prescription drug epidemic may have emerged over the last 20 years. But, its roots date back more than a century, and its growth in the years since follows a path of medical advancement.

Meghan Morrissey has hit rock bottom - twice. - Day after day, the 22-year-old Manchester mother was spending all her money on prescription pain killers to feed her addiction. She took the food stamps that should have fed her family and sold them for half their value to buy more drugs


Scott O'Neil's Promising future derailed by cocaine - "Once I tried coke, everything spun out of control," O'Neil said. "It captured me"

Trading pills prevalent in area high schools - Trading illegal prescription drugs in school can happen with a simple, careful exchange: a handshake or high-five in the hallways, a careful conversation by a student’s locker. It’s like passing a note the size of a pea.


At Nashua Children's Home prescribed drugs are the norm - David Villiotti, the home’s executive director, estimates that anywhere from two-thirds to three-quarters of those kids are prescribed at least one psychotropic drug.

Lindsay Gregg fights to recover from addiction that started with prescription drugs. - Lindsay Gregg's room smells like a baby lives there. There's a gentle baby-powder fresh smell permeating the air.

Law sees little difference between prescription drugs and heroin - In a lot of ways, getting caught with a few Oxycodone pills is the same thing has getting caught with a few hits of heroin – at least as far as the black and the white of state law is concerned.


Finding solutions to an epidemic rooted in legal medicine is tricky business. - Two developments in recent months underscore how much time and effort, and money, state officials and experts are devoting to reducing addiction to prescription drugs.

State moves away from handing out painkillers to prisoners - Since establishing a traveling pain management clinic in the middle of 2009, the state is handing out far fewer prescription pain pills, as much as 85 percent fewer doses of some of the drugs.


Residents discuss prescription drug abuse epidemic at public forum - The Telegraph hosts a panel discussion about prescription drug abuse

Where: Nashua High School South, 36 Riverside St., Nashua, second-floor lecture hall.

When: Thursday, June 28, at 7 p.m.

Addiction Epidemic News

NH among 28 states to see heroin deaths spike

CONCORD – New Hampshire is among 28 states in the country experiencing a skyrocketing number of heroin overdose deaths, according to alarming – if unsurprising … Full story    
Published:  October 3, 2014

Panel address ways to fight drug addiction in Nashua

The Nashua Prevention Coalition said Wednesday that education is the best method for battling drug use. At a public forum held by the coalition at … Full story    
Published:  May 22, 2014

New NH program will fight drug addiction

CONCORD – Gov. Maggie Hassan and a substance abuse expert said a long-awaited drug monitoring program should help identify prescription opiate drug abusers before they … Full story    
Published:  March 1, 2014

NH lobbying gets novelty prescription bottles axed

RAYMOND – A company that sells corporate promotional items online has agreed to remove candy-filled prescription bottles from its website after being lobbied by the … Full story    
Published:  October 31, 2013

New Hampshire’s addiction to prescription drugs higher than national average

More people than ever died of drug-related deaths in New Hampshire in 2011, and 80 percent of them involved prescription drugs, according to a report … Full story    
Published:  October 26, 2013

Many RI overdose deaths involve prescribed meds

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – More than 180 Rhode Islanders died from unintentional drug overdoses last year – more than four times the number of people who … Full story    
Published:  October 10, 2013

NH prescription tracking program gets $400k grant to launch

New Hampshire is a step closer to becoming the 49th state to establish a system to track powerful, and potentially dangerous, prescription drugs thanks to … Full story    
Published:  September 6, 2013

Drug overdose deaths spike among middle-aged women

ATLANTA – Overdose deaths in the U.S. are rising fastest among middle-aged women, and their drug of choice is usually prescription painkillers, the government reported … Full story    
Published:  July 3, 2013

Drug use raises city crime rate

The Nashua Police Department’s 2012 annual report is a mixed bag of data for the city. Overall, crime in Nashua increased by 4 percent in … Full story    
Published:  May 31, 2013

Hillsborough County drug courts in Nashua and Manchester put on hold because of budget cuts

NASHUA – A series of drug courts in Hillsborough County that officials want to establish in Nashua and Manchester are on hold because the funding … Full story    
Published:  May 12, 2013

Videos lobby legislators to approve more money for substance abuse prevention programs videocam

CONCORD – State senators weighing what should be in the next, two-year state budget are targets of a new for of lobbying – YouTube videos … Full story    
Published:  May 7, 2013

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday; dispose of old medications in most area towns

Area police departments once again will take part in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday Police, including officers from Nashua, … Full story    
Published:  April 25, 2013

Substance abuse talk with regional poison call center sheds light on severe drug abuse in New Hampshire

CONCORD – Drugs killed nearly twice as many New Hampshire residents as car crashes in 2011, according to the Northern New England Poison Center, whose … Full story    
Published:  March 25, 2013

Ex-addict, allies moving on videocam

NASHUA – Scott O’Neil doesn’t hear the voices any more, the ones that made him possessed by opium-based narcotics. Two years after hitting rock bottom, … Full story    
Published:  March 12, 2013

Addiction Epidemic special online edition launched Friday

The Telegraph has launched a special online edition of Addiction Epidemic, the 2012 series that explores the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the Nashua region. … Full story    
Published:  March 8, 2013

NH doctors have new tool to fight prescription drug abuse

CONCORD – Experts in medicine and opiate addiction will gather next week to talk about progress being made to address prescription drug abuse and to … Full story    
Published:  November 10, 2012

More than 400 pounds of prescription drugs collected in Nashua, Merrimack and Hudson

Area police departments collected hundreds of pounds of potentially dangerous prescription drugs last weekend as part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s fifth National Take Back … Full story    
Published:  October 3, 2012

‘War on prescription drug abuse’ brings experts, students together at KSC forum

KEENE – When New Hampshire passed a law this spring to create a prescription drug monitoring program, it became the 49th state to do so. … Full story    
Published:  September 29, 2012

Brookline police chief: Prescription drug abuse ‘a serious drug problem’

HOLLIS – Hollis and Brookline are wealthy towns, but that’s no wall to addiction, Brookline Police Chief William Quigley told parents Thursday. “We do have … Full story    
Published:  September 29, 2012

Zombies declare war on drugs

DOVER –“If you think zombies are quite a sight, your medicine cabinet is quite a fright!” Members of Youth to Youth decked out as the … Full story    
Published:  September 27, 2012

Changing the prescription for addicts

LOS ANGELES – A call for change is afoot in the difficult and often heartbreaking world of addiction treatment. For decades, 12-step programs and a … Full story    
Published:  September 25, 2012

Hollis to host forum Thursday on prescription drug abuse

HOLLIS – If Hollis Brookline High School students are like their peers throughout the state, hundreds have already taken prescription pills illegally in the past … Full story    
Published:  September 24, 2012

Concerns raised about growing link between prescription drug abuse and suicide

The growing link between prescription drug abuse and suicide brought experts from both fields together in Concord on Monday, where they highlighted the combined resources … Full story    
Published:  September 11, 2012

Pain-medication abuse topic of Keene State College presentation

KEENE – Researchers who took part in a semester-long Keene State College study, prompted by the meteoric rise in pain medication abuse among New Hampshire … Full story    
Published:  September 11, 2012

Hudson, Merrimack police to host prescription drug take-back day Sept. 29

A new prescription-drug take-back event sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is scheduled for the end of the month. So far, Hudson and Merrimack … Full story    
Published:  September 8, 2012

New path for drug offenders in NH

CONCORD – Court officials throughout the state now have the go-ahead to establish a string of drug diversion courts, with the ability to create alternative … Full story    
Published:  August 28, 2012

County eyes drug court in Nashua

NASHUA – Hillsborough County court and law enforcement officials are working to establish the state’s fourth drug court in Nashua and Manchester by next year. … Full story    
Published:  August 6, 2012

Coming Sunday: Six day series examining prescription drug abuse

More people died from prescription drug overdoses in New Hampshire last year than in car accidents. The percentage of people seeking state-funded treatment for addiction … Full story    
Published:  June 23, 2012