Opioid Abuse/Misuse Response in New Hampshire

The NH DHHS issued a health alert on October 7, regarding the opioid abuse/misuse response in New Hampshire.

NH Division of Public Health Services (NH DPHS) draws your attention to the following:

Key Points and Recommendations:

  • The number of drug-related overdose deaths in New Hampshire increased 69% from 2013 to 2014. There were 326 total overdose deaths in 2014; the majority of deaths were attributable to opioids.
     
  • Prescription opioid abuse and dependence is contributing. Providers are encouraged to review their prescribing practices and follow accepted best practices for opioid prescribing, including consideration of alternative non-opioid treatment options when medically appropriate.
     
  • Providers should routinely screen patients for opioid misuse. Patients with intravenous drug use (IVDU) should be screened for infectious complications, including Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and HIV infection.
     
  • Providers should consider prescribing naloxone to patients and/or family and friends of patients who are at risk of opioid overdose to prevent overdose deaths. New legislation in NH protects healthcare providers from criminal and civil liability for prescribing, dispensing, or distributing naloxone.
     
  • Information and additional resources, including an “alcohol and drug treatment locator” can be found at: http://drugfreenh.org/anyoneanytime.
     
  • For questions, please contact the NH DHHS Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services at 603-271-6110.

Click here for the full DHHS alert.