It can be hard to imagine that in such a scenic state, challenging drug and alcohol problems exist among residents. However, New Hampshire has the second-highest illicit drug-use rate in the country.
Family members and friends of someone who is suffering from a substance use disorder or addiction to drugs or alcohol in New Hampshire should know that effective help is available for those who seek recovery.
New Hampshire Substance Use Statistics
In 2015 New Hampshire was among the top five states with the highest drug-overdose fatalities. That same year, 26.1 percent of residents sought drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
The state’s substance use rates include the following statistics:
- 7.2 percent of New Hampshire residents twelve or older were addicted to alcohol from 2014 to 2015, which was above the 6.1 percent national average.
- 14.5 percent of residents were admitted to treatment programs for alcohol use in 2015.
- New Hampshire experienced 498 drug overdoses in 2016.
- The state ranks second in the U.S. for opioid-related deaths.
- New Hampshire ranks first nationwide for fentanyl-related deaths, which increased 1,629 percent from 2010 to 2015.
- In 2015, 28 percent of drug rehab admissions were for opioid or heroin use.
- 17.35 percent of residents over age twelve used marijuana in 2015, which was higher than the national average of 13.36 percent.
- 9.4 percent of New Hampshire teens used marijuana from 2014 to 2015, higher than the 7.2 percent national average.
- In a single-day count in 2015, 8,164 people were enrolled in a substance use program in New Hampshire, up from 6,702 from a single-day count in 2013.
Addiction Prevention Programs
New Hampshire residents use fentanyl, carfentanil—an elephant tranquilizer 100 times stronger than fentanyl—methamphetamines, crack cocaine, heroin, heroin laced with fentanyl, marijuana, and other drugs.
To combat drug use, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has established several initiatives that include promoting medication-assisted treatment programs and increasing access to addiction treatment programs.
Other New Hampshire initiatives and agencies working to implement programs to prevent and decrease substance use in the state include:
- New Hampshire Alcoholics Anonymous
- New Hampshire Narcotics Anonymous
- 2-1-1 New Hampshire
- Statewide Addiction Crisis Line
New Hampshire Addiction Treatment Programs
Several addiction treatment formats are available in New Hampshire to support a person recovering from a substance use disorder. Programs are designed to provide physical, mental and emotional support as clients learn to live a life of sobriety.
A clinical assessment will determine what substances were used, the duration of the substance use and any underlying factors that need to be addressed in treatment in order to achieve long-term recovery. Drug rehab programs in New Hampshire can provide programs tailored to a person’s specific needs, and an addiction treatment plan may include some or all of the following programs.
For friends and family members who are concerned that a loved one does not see the harmful effects of their drug or alcohol use, an intervention may be necessary to convince the person to seek help.
A professional interventionist will meet with the members of the group in advance, help plan the conversation and select a treatment center. Professional interventions have a high success rate in persuading someone with a substance use disorder to seek addiction treatment.
Drug And Alcohol Detox
Depending on the substance of use, detoxification is often the first step in ending an addiction. In a drug and alcohol detox program, the substance is withheld while the person is under the supervision and receives medical support as their body begins to adjust to sobriety.
Because detoxing from some substances can cause severe withdrawal symptoms and side effects, medical care and 24-hour support may be necessary to help a person safely break a physical addiction to drugs or alcohol. Withdrawing from drugs like benzodiazepines, alcohol or opioids cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms that can worsen without proper care. Medications may be provided to relieve stress and discomfort and to prevent or alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Once a person is safely through the withdrawal period, addiction treatment can begin. Therapy and recovery activities teach relapse-prevention skills and other behavioral modifications that ensure a long-lasting recovery.
Inpatient Drug Rehab
In New Hampshire, residential addiction treatment programs offer therapy, ongoing medical support and medication-assisted treatment to help patients develop the recovery skills that will keep them sober for a lifetime. The person will live at the facility while in the program.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient drug rehabilitation programs allow patients to return home or to a sober-living facility after treatment each day. This less-intensive program can serve as a step-down level of care for someone who has just completed an inpatient program but who would benefit from continued support as they adjust to their new life in sobriety.
Outpatient addiction treatment programs are also beneficial for those who are highly motivated to recovery but have work or family obligations and cannot participate in a residential program.
Aftercare and Alumni Services
New Hampshire aftercare and alumni programs are often available to those who have completed an addiction treatment program. These services are a way to stay in contact with the recovery community and access support when needed.
New Hampshire Specialized Addiction Treatment Programs
Many addiction treatment centers in New Hampshire provide specialized programs to accommodate each patient’s unique needs. These may include medication-assisted treatment, care for dual-diagnosis disorders and gender-specific therapy.
Several FDA-approved medications are available to prevent withdrawal and help reduce the risk of relapse. Drugs such as naltrexone (Vivitrol), methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone) might be given to help with those who are in recovery from an opioid use disorder. For those recovering from an alcohol use disorder, drugs such as acamprosate (Campral) or disulfiram (Antuse) may be used.
Dual-Diagnosis Disorder Programs
Mental health disorders frequently co-occur with substance use disorders. Those with a dual diagnosis for substance use and mental health require treatment that addresses both conditions simultaneously, each in context of the other.
Gender-specific therapy groups can be useful to encourage participation and address gender-related issues that affect recovery.
Addiction Treatment Therapies in New Hampshire
New Hampshire offers a wide variety of addiction treatment programs that can be combined to fully address a person’s unique needs.
Addiction treatment therapies may include:
- Individual counseling
- Behavioral therapies
- Complementary therapies
- Support groups and 12-step programs
- Family therapy
- Life skills
- Exercise programs and nutrition education
- Coping techniques and tools for stress management
Counseling on an individual basis allows the person in recovery to meet with a therapist to address their addiction issues and any underlying behaviors associated with the addiction.
Behavioral therapy addresses any negative thought patterns or destructive behaviors. These methods can include motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.
Complementary therapies are often offered in New Hampshire as part of a holistic addiction treatment plan, adding to traditional therapies with activities that address whole-person wellness. Complementary therapies may include acupuncture, yoga, journaling, and equine therapy.
Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous can give people in recovery a chance to meet in a group setting with others to hear success stories and learn how others overcome the everyday struggles of sobriety.
Therapy for Families
Family therapy can help loved ones who were affected by substance use to learn more about addiction, identify enabling behaviors and provide a more stable environment in the home.
Life Skills Development
Developing any missing life skills, such as enrolling in college, finding employment or improving communication skills, helps to ensure a fulfilling life in recovery.
Exercise and Nutrition
Learn about eating healthy and improving physical health can further reduce the risk of relapse.
Tools for Stress Management
By learning stress-management skills, the person in recovery can learn how to manage stress without turning to substance use. Stress-management tools may include meditation, stretching and breathing exercises.
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How To Pay For New Hampshire Addiction Treatment
In New Hampshire, there are various ways to pay for drug and alcohol treatment programs:
- Personal medical loans
- Medicaid, Medicare
- Medical insurance
- Payment plans
- Scholarships and grants
Addiction treatment is a covered behavioral health service benefit under many health insurance plans. Copayments and out-of-pocket costs will vary based on provider.
In New Hampshire, medical insurance providers may include:
- Ambetter from NH Healthy Families
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Hampshire
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Length Of Treatment
Addiction treatment program lengths vary. Programs can last a few days or several months, depending on the person’s needs.
Inpatient treatment programs typically last 30 to 90 days, but some can be extended longer if needed. Outpatient programs last similar lengths, while some alumni programs are designed for lifelong participation.
Traveling For Addiction Treatment
While a person seeking addiction treatment might want to stay close to home, they may benefit from a treatment program that isn’t right around the corner and doesn’t expose them to triggers that can contribute to relapse.
The benefits of being willing to travel to seek addiction treatment include:
- More high-quality treatment programs than are available locally
- Improved focus on treatment and removal from environmental triggers
- Increased confidentiality