NH leaders say addiction is driving crime


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire's law enforcement and corrections officials say epidemic drug addiction in the state is driving crime while taxing corrections and court resources.

Public Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes told fellow members of the Governor's Commission on Alcohol Abuse, Prevention, Intervention and Treatment Friday that 40 percent of the state's highway fatalities are linked to drug or alcohol abuse and he has 124 troopers specially trained to detect drug impairment.

The commission met for the first time since three people recently died of heroin overdoses and a number of users were hospitalized.

At least 61 people died of heroin overdoses in New Hampshire in 2013, compared with 38 the previous year, according to the state Medical Examiner.

Other commission members talked about limited resources hampering long-term rehabilitation efforts.

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