(Part-2) Some New Hampshire voters demand stronger drug crisis solutions from 2024 hopefuls.

However, Republican Manchester mayor Jay Ruais, who took office last month, says that's only part of the picture. I think we should also address demand. School prevention: what's happening? How are we treating those who need more? For non-treated persons, what are we doing? Housing is also important for rehabilitation, added Ruais. 

Ruais said completing a court-ordered recovery program in 2010 following a second drunk driving conviction improved his empathy for addicts throughout his campaign. “This is very personal to me. I ran for mayor because of that, he added. I think any candidate speaking in New Hampshire should address this problem.

After two major jumps at the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, drug overdose fatalities jumped 2% to approximately 110,000. In New Hampshire, overdose fatalities dropped considerably before the pandemic and maintained stable in 2020 because to “The Doorway,” a hub-and-spoke approach in which hospitals cooperate with local providers to link patients with local resources. But the state's 486 fatalities in 2022 were up 11% from the year before.

Norton said she most wanted a president who acknowledges drug use disorder as an illness and treats it as a public health issue. Punitive measures don't help traumatized, abused, and disconnected program participants, she added. “I’m not an expert on how controlling the border will help,” she remarked. "What I know is that affordable health care, housing, and basic rights and support will help in New Hampshire."

In December, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who chaired a bipartisan White House panel on opioid addiction during the Trump administration, launched his national drug policy strategy at Hope on Haven Hill's wellness center, a few weeks before bowing out of the race.

“We need an approach that remembers and reflects on the very basic humanity of every single one of those 100,000 victims, as well as the treasures each could have brought to this country,” he added.

Haley also showed more compassion in the Rochester facility Wednesday night. She revealed her efforts to help an adult niece recover from addiction while holding one of the client's 12-day-old baby. She pledged to encourage mental health care and give states greater freedom in spending federal dollars as president.

“I know every day is a struggle,” she told program participants. “Your goal is to improve today over yesterday.” Emma Rosenthal said she would vote for Haley when her daughter was returned. “She cares about people,” she stated. Amyot, another audience member, said she now supports Haley. A woman in the White House may help, she added.

“The next four years cannot continue the way it has been, because it’s going to be so bad,” she remarked. “It’s so bad, and we’re not doing much.”

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