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Published on February 19, 2016

Substance Use Disorder Collaborative

The recent explosion in opioid-related deaths and the continuing battle against alcohol abuse and misuse underscore that a collaborative system to address substance use is critical to meet the needs of our community.

As part of the effort by Concord Hospital Family Health Center, Concord Hospital Fresh Start Program and Riverbend Community Mental Health to work closely on behavioral health initiatives, a collection of agencies that cover the entire spectrum of assistance for those suffering from addiction is developing systems of prevention, treatment and recovery in the Concord area.

Their work includes:

  • Developing new programs aimed at preventing abuse;
  • Developing an education and awareness program called Substance Use Disorder First Aid to provide free, public training to teach community members the signs and symptoms of misuse and abuse;
  • Hiring new specialists to provide treatment and education to the public and medical providers;
  • Hiring Master’s level licensed alcohol and drug counselors to help counsel patients at Concord Hospital Family Health Center, Riverbend Community Mental Health and Concord Hospital Fresh Start.

Because addiction often begins with prescribed painkillers, Concord Hospital Family Health Center and Riverbend recently hired an addiction medicine specialist to focus on:

  • Educating fellow physicians about potential risks of prescribing large numbers of painkillers;
  • Persuading more physicians to become licensed to prescribe replacement medications for addiction treatment;
  • Providing a face for addictions treatment in the medical community;
  • Administering medications that ease the symptoms of withdrawal (medication assisted treatment).

Agencies working together on this collaborative include:
Granite United Way, HOPE for New Hampshire Recovery, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, State Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services and The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at University of New Hampshire.