NY Times in-depth article on US heroin epidemic gets the cause and the solution all wrong
by MERYL NASS
On October 30, 2015 the NY Times published an in-depth article on the heroin epidemic, focused on New Hampshire, which saw the greatest increase in deaths from drug overdoses (74%) in the US between 2013 and 2014. New Hampshire is a bucolic place, where villages of tidy white capes and saltboxes lie sprinkled among the mountains and pine forests.
Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest city, has a population of 110,000. In one 6 hour period onSeptember 24, Manchester police responded to 6 separate heroin overdoses. Manchester saw over 500 overdoses and over 60 deaths between January 1 and September 24, 2015.
At presidential campaign stops throughout the state, candidates were forced to respond to the problem when New Hampshire citizens demanded answers. Hillary has a $10 billion dollar plan for prevention and treatment of abuse. Chris Christie prefers treatment to jail time for first offenders. Obama announced a $5 million initiative in August to combat heroin addiction and trafficking. NH has designated a drug czar. NH Senator Ayotte says “We’ve got to reduce the stigma.” Narcan, an opiate antidote that has been made widely available, is admittedly a band-aid. It saves lives from acute overdoses, but does absolutely nothing to stem the tide of abuse.