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Speaker Shurtleff announces new addiction prevention program

Concord, New Hampshire, September 24, 2019 – New Hampshire House Speaker Steve Shurtleff announced today that the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of New Hampshire and the Capital Area Public Health Network (CAPHN) have partnered to create an evidence-based addiction prevention program aimed at youth in 24 communities in central New Hampshire. The program, funded by a grant from RALI NH, includes the distribution of more than 800 prescription drug disposal kits and bags for the safe storage of medications along with awareness information about the safe storage of prescription drugs. The drug disposal kits and information will be distributed directly to parents and care givers leveraging CAPHN’s existing relationships with Recovery Friendly Workplaces, local police and fire departments, and youth-oriented programs. Supplying these safety resources and information to homes will reduce youth access to prescription drugs. A 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey reported that nearly 84 percent of Capital Area youth have easy access to prescription drugs.

“While the state legislature is committed to continued funding for prevention, treatment, and recovery, we can’t do it alone,” said Speaker Steve Shurtleff. “Partnerships and efforts like this being undertaken by RALI New Hampshire and the Capital Area Health Network can make a big difference in helping to end the opioid epidemic in the state.”

The average age for the first use of substance is 11 years old for boys and 13 years old for girls. Children who use prior to the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop a Substance Use Disorder. CAPHN works directly with prevention specialists, schools and Drug Free Coalitions to promote prevention.

“Granite United Way and the Governor’s Commission are deeply committed to working with the public health networks to reduce and hopefully eliminate the negative impacts of substance use,” said Patrick Tufts, President of the Granite United Way and Chair of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drugs. “RALI NH’s grant will help our efforts to create a deep impact in the communities we serve through collaboration.”

CAPHN operates under the auspices of Granite United Way. CAPHN will be implementing the prevention program leading up to National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 26th and will be encouraging people across the state to safely dispose of their unused prescription drugs.

In addition to its efforts with CAPHN, RALI NH has provided grant funding to not-for-profit organizations throughout New Hampshire who are on the front lines of fighting the opioid epidemic helping to fund, expand, and develop new programming aimed at prevention and treatment of opioid addiction. RALI NH’s website,, offers information on the safe disposal of unused medications and serves as the hub of information about the organization’s efforts.

“We are so grateful to RALI NH for providing this much needed funding for a critical program,” said Annika Stanley-Smith CAPHN Director of Substance Misuse Prevention. “Together we hope to make as many people aware of the need to safely manage prescription drugs.”

About RALI New Hampshire

RALI New Hampshire is a partnership of more than a dozen local, state, and national organizations committed to finding solutions to end the opioid crisis in New Hampshire. Members of the coalition include:

● Addiction Policy Forum

● Capitol Area Public Health Network

● CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America)

● Chucky’s Fight

● Dismas Home of New Hampshire

● Granite Pathways Safe Harbor Recovery Center

● Hope on Haven Hill

● Makin’ It Happen

● New Hampshire Grange

● New Hampshire Hospital Association

● New Hampshire Police Association

● New Hampshire Sheriff’s Association

● New Hampshire State Police

● New Hampshire Troopers Association

● North Country Serenity Center

● Reality Check

● The Partnership for a Drug Free NH

● The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

● Zero Left Campaign

About Capital Area Public Health Network

The mission of the Capital Area Public Health Network (CAPHN) is to promote, protect, and improve the health and well-being of communities within the Capital Area of New Hampshire through the proactive, coordinated, and comprehensive delivery of essential public health services.

Since 2013, Granite United Way has held the contract with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) for the Capital Area Public Health Network (CAPHN) to oversee an array of public health services and functions. Prior to 2013, GUW held the contract for the Capital Area Regional Prevention Network since its inception in 2007. CAPHN is one of 13 Regional Public Health Networks across the state, each serving a defined Public Health Region.

CAPHN is comprised of the following 24 municipalities: Allenstown, Andover, Boscawen, Bow, Bradford, Canterbury, Chichester, Concord, Deering, Dunbarton, Epsom, Henniker, Hillsboro, Hopkinton, Loudon, Northwood, Pembroke, Pittsfield, Salisbury, Warner, Washington, Webster, Weare, Windsor.

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