Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $4,710,993)
The New Hampshire Department of Justice is applying for Category 2 funding in the amount of $4,710,993.00 under the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program (COSSAP). This proposed program is statewide and includes partnerships with Amoskeag Health, Laconia, Belmont, Berlin, Claremont, Londonderry, Manchester, and Merrimack Police Departments.
This project is designed to enhance and expand The Prevention, Enforcement, & Treatment Program (PET), which was started by the Laconia Police Department and Master Patrol Officer Eric Adams in 2015. This program was designed to help lower recidivism rates of overdose victims and provide support to families of those struggling with Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Dedicating a full time police officer to respond to all overdose calls in the city, Laconia was able to connect individuals and their family immediately to the few lifesaving resources available and with the success of the program; assisted in building more direct services to the area.
This program includes enhancing PET in Laconia by not only expanding it to six other counties across the state, but also partnering with the Manchester Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team Technical Assistance Center (ACERT TAC) to allow a multigenerational approach to SUD as New Hampshire was among the top ten states in the nation for drug overdose mortality rate in 2019.
In October 2015, Manchester Police Department, Amoskeag Health and YWCA created the now nationally recognized ACERT to address trauma and facilitate the referral process of connecting families and children to mental health services following first responder intervention; by utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach to meet immediate needs of children and families exposed to ACEs (adverse childhood experiences).
The ACERT TAC will provide training and resources for the communities to ensure their networks of programs and services are trauma-informed. Immediate actions by responding law enforcement and access to needed resources for children with ACE’s and adults with substance abuse can be instrumental in preventing future SUD.
This project would integrate PET and ACE’s into the first responders’ curriculum when responding to calls related to drug use. PET would offer a core of services to the families of SUD, while identifying and utilizing resources from Manchester ACERT TAC to address the ACE’s in children; thereby taking a multigenerational approach by not only treating the SUD but recognizing and treating the ACE’s to prevent future overdose recidivism.