LACONIA – There have been four non-fatal overdoses of opiates in the city since last Friday, Police Chief Chris Adams confirmed yesterday.
The Laconia Fire Department successfully used NARCAN – an inhalation-delivered version of Naloxone which almost immediately reverses the effects of opiates.
Laconia has seen an alarming number of opiate overdoses – both fatal and non-fatal, and has taken extraordinary steps to combat the problem.
In the 2014-2015 city budget, the City Council appropriated an additional $50,000 to the Police Department which appointed a drug czar whose sole job is to coordinate educational and enforcement programs with other communities, the courts, the schools, and the various agencies who are addressing drug problems.
Adams said the City Council will be evaluating the program for renewal as part of the 2015-16 budget and he said he will be asking for a full-time position for the drug coordinating officer.
One of the agencies addressing the problem head-on is StandUp Laconia – a not-for-profit program begun by some private citizens who want to help with the city's drug abuse problem. The group is meeting tonight from 5 until 6:30 p.m. at the Laconia Middle School. The meeting is open to anyone who is interested in taking a stand against alcohol and drug abuse.
In addition, there is an intensive recovery program created last year by 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division Judge Jim Carroll for admitted addicts who want to get and stay drug-free. Recovery Court in Belknap County is an all-volunteer effort by local mental health and counseling agencies, the court, the Public Defenders Office, the Laconia City Prosecutor, the Belknap County Department of Restorative Justice, the Department of Corrections and the Belknap County arm of the N.H. Division of Probation and Parole.
Last month, two people made it through the program and graduated. Both have agreed to stay with the program as mentors.
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