Many people who become addicted to drugs go down that path because their drug of choice was a legal prescription at one time.
Classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, fentanyl has become a major problem in New Hampshire in terms of addiction and death.
Thought to enter the United States from Mexico or China, fentanyl has made its way into New Hampshire through Massachusetts. It is a synthetic opiate painkiller that is much stronger than heroin, another problem drug in this state. Fentanyl is illegally sold or purchased because it has addictive, euphoric effects, and yet an extremely small amount can cause death.
Why the drug problem exists in New Hampshire
There are many rural communities in New Hampshire where opioid use has become socially acceptable. In the first place, there are economic challenges as well as a lack of things to do that for some, cause a dependence on drugs. To add to the problem, New Hampshire is not financially able to provide the resources that addicts need to kick their habit.
Manchester, New Hampshire, dead center in the opioid epidemic
The Manchester fire chief spends half of his time dealing with the opioid problem. He explains that overdose calls are so common that all firefighters carry Narcan, a medication that reverses opioid overdoses. Fentanyl is the cause of most of these overdoses and in 2015, was responsible for almost two-thirds of the drug fatalities in New Hampshire. As an example of the need for this drug, people have learned how to manufacture fentanyl in their own homes using a kitchen blender.
An alternative to prison
People convicted of the theft or possession of an illegal substance such as fentanyl could receive a sentence of anywhere from 15 to 30 years in the New Hampshire State Prison. However, in many cases a drug crime links to addiction and prison may not be the best solution; a better option might be placement into a chemical dependency treatment program. Anyone facing criminal charges associated with a Schedule II substance such as fentanyl should explore their legal options.