New Hampshire

Far up in the high, northeast corner of the United States, New Hampshire is one area that very few Americans know anything about. It isn’t the home of any famous sports teams, and it rarely shows up in news headlines except for every four years when it begins the nation’s presidential primaries. It does have some history, however, as New Hampshire was the first of the 13 American colonies to break away from England, and it was one of the subsequent first 13 American states.

Also, for all its seeming sleepy slowness, New Hampshire is also a beautiful state with some of the greatest wilderness and arctic activities on our country’s east coast. If you live in New England and want to go skiing or snowboarding, New Hampshire may be your destination of choice.

Everything is not well in the northeast, however. New Hampshire reports that it actually has a far higher rate of past-month drug use than the national average. What drugs are being used in New Hampshire, and can anything be done about it? 

New Hampshire Addiction and Consequences of Use Information

Here is the basic information on the drug problem in New Hampshire:

  • New Hampshire is one of the top ten states in the country when it comes to illegal drug use among all people 12 years of age and older.
  • 12.15 percent of all New Hampshire residents admit to past-month drug use. This is far higher than the national average of 8.82 percent of all citizens.
  • 13 people in every 100,000 die as a direct result of their drug use in New Hampshire. This is slightly higher than the national average of 12.8 people per 100,000.

The drug problem in the United States never seems to go away.  When the use of one drug drops another seems to emerge to take its place.  For example when cocaine use dropped from historic highs in the late 80s and 90s, prescription pain medication abuse rose in the 2000s.  Since the 1970s the National Survey on Drug Use and Health have been taking annual surveys to track overall drug use in the US and further determine what locations and age groups are affected the most.  The survey asks questions about general drug use, as well as 9 categories of drugs, which include: inhalants, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, stimulants, sedatives, tranquilizers, and pain killer prescription medications that are used for non-medical purposes.

This data is further broken down by state and age group, which lets us compare the drug use across the country.  Compared with the other states New Hampshire falls in the top ten of states with the highest drug use per capita.  In fact New Hampshire falls in the highest range for several survey categories, which include:

  • Illicit drug use in the month prior to the survey for persons aged 12 and older
  • Marijuana use in the past month for persons aged 12 and older
  • First use of marijuana among persons aged 18 to 25
  • Illicit drug use other than marijuana in the past month for persons aged 18 to 25
  • Cocaine use in the past year for persons aged 18 to 25

Overall persons aged 18 to 25 in New Hampshire abuse drugs more than people from the same age group in most other states.  When surveyed on past month use of illicit drugs other than marijuana New Hampshire had 10.6 percent of residents who answered yes, that they had used a drug which is above the 7.5 percent national average.

New Hampshire citizens are using the following drugs:

  • Marijuana is quickly dropping in its share of all drug rehab treatment admissions. In 1997 it reached a peak of about 53 percent of all admissions, but the drug has been steadily dropping in use and now accounts for only about 23 percent of admissions.
  • Stimulants such as meth have not been a large problem in New Hampshire—they are responsible for only percentage points of all treatment admissions.
  • Cocaine and crack have dropped in their treatment admission rates over time. Currently, they sit at about 12 percent of all admissions.
  • Heroin treatment admissions have been moving upward. They now account for almost 30 percent of all admissions.
  • Opioid-based prescription painkillers are skyrocketing in their percentage of the total number of treatment admissions. Twenty years ago they accounted for almost no admissions, but as of 2011 they had shot up to 33 percent of admissions state-wide. This is an epidemic that doesn’t show signs of stopping yet.

New Hampshire Drug Treatment Sources & Resources

There are many different types of New Hampshire drug treatment and alcohol recovery programs throughout the state. Contact us for more information or to speak to a counselor about what’s available in your local area and see the resources below:

WhiteHouse.gov: New Hampshire Drug Control Update – http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile_-_new_hampshire_1.pdf

Nashuatelegraph: News About Drug Abuse in New Hampshire is Not Good – http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/opinion/editorials/1020285-465/news-about-drug-abuse-in-nh-is.html