In New Hampshire, eyes are on the presidential candidates and the state's heroin problem.
In the run-up to today’s presidential primaries in New Hampshire, candidates, voters and the national media have focused attention on the state’s growing heroin and opiate problem.
New Hampshire’s not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports “heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled” from 2002-2013 nationwide. Experts believe many people seek heroin because prescription painkillers have become harder and more costly to get.
In King County, fatal overdoses linked to heroin and other opiates rose to 226 in 2014. Overall, 314 drug deaths were reported in the county that year, according to a report by the University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute.
During that same time period, New Hampshire saw 325 drug deaths, according to New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR). Of those deaths, 293 involved heroin or other opiates. NHPR reports preliminary 2015 data shows at least 385 drug deaths in 2015.
Of course, King County’s drug deaths are not directly comparable to New Hampshire’s. The Census Bureau estimates New Hampshire’s population at nearly 1.3 million. King County is home to nearly 2.1 million people. But it’s clear both regions are seeing a worrisome surge in drug-related deaths.