Monday, January 22, 2018

Opioid Crisis in New Hampshire Illustrates Failure of Government

Tragedy From Conservatives' Policy

For a variety of reasons the deaths from drug abuse are very high in New Hampshire. The NYT has the reasons for this, and they revolve around state government not doing what other states do to help people live.

A big reason for the problem is that New Hampshire is close to the supply of illegal drugs in Massachusetts. But as the Times reports

The researchers noted other factors, too:

A shortage of workers in addiction and recovery. Northeast states have an average of 15.5 doctors per 100,000 residents who can prescribe Suboxone and other medication-assisted treatments; New Hampshire has seven.
No needle exchanges, which can reduce the transmission of diseases like hepatitis C and save health care costs. New Hampshire finally legalized needle exchanges in June, long after many other states had done so, but did not fund them. Dartmouth medical students, using donations and grants, opened the first needle exchange last summer in a Claremont, N.H., soup kitchen, but it was shut down in October because it was too close to a school.
• “Live Free or Die.” The researchers said the New Hampshire ethos of “self-sufficiency and individualism” could inhibit some residents from seeking help. And for some, they said, the state’s “Live Free or Die” motto might justify risky behaviors. The state does not require drivers to wear seatbelts. It allows motorcyclists to ride without helmets. And state liquor stores are right on the major highways.

So yes there is a cost to denying government the resources it needs to do what government is supposed to do. And those who do so are not the ones who suffer and die, are they?

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