(Part-1) Some New Hampshire voters demand stronger drug crisis solutions from 2024 hopefuls.

Kristina Amyot's life has improved greatly since the previous New Hampshire primary, but she doubts the present candidates would assist others.

Amyot, 36, spent more than half her life addicted to heroin before attending Hope on Haven Hill, a comprehensive program for pregnant women and mothers that offers inpatient treatment, transitional housing, and many support services. She has a job, apartment, and loving family and is financially independent. “I will never put myself through that again,” she stated last week in an interview

New Hampshire, a tiny state with a large role in presidential politics, has heard from candidates pledging opioid crisis solutions for multiple presidential elections. Some close to the issue are unhappy with how Republicans in Tuesday's primary have concentrated on the border and law enforcement instead of treatment and recovery. Amyot doubts much will change after the election.

I think it's discussed every four years and then forgotten. This should be a primary priority, but we don't do anything with it, she added. “To think these people don’t care about us is sad.”

The nation's drug issue began in the late 1990s with opioid painkiller overprescribing and expanded to heroin and fentanyl, which have been spliced into other street narcotics without consumers' awareness. According to the CDC, opioid overdoses killed over 80,000 individuals in 2022.

New Hampshire has the second-highest drug overdose fatality rate in 2015. Though the state has improved, the numbers have risen. New Hampshire, with 1.4 million residents, had 486 fatalities in 2022, four short of its all-time record.

In New Hampshire, we are losing more than a person a day,” said Kerry Norton, who co-founded Hope on Haven Hill in Rochester in 2016. "It's so easy to forget that it's still killing generations and causing communities, states, families, and friends to lose loved ones." Republicans campaigning in New Hampshire this week have focused on reducing illicit drug incursion at the southern U.S. border.

Former President Donald Trump called New Hampshire a “drug-infested den,” while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley advocated employing the military against global drug traffickers. DeSantis wants drug dealers murdered “stone cold dead,” while Haley wants to shut off commerce with China “until they stop murdering Americans with fentanyl.” Many analysts believe China exports precursor chemicals for synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

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