We’re Better Together

Substance misuse is one of the most prevalent and problematic public health issues that poses a wide range of safety and health risks, impacting physical, social and emotional well-being. Substance misuse, involving alcohol, illicit drugs, misuse of prescription medications, or combinations of all of these, is associated with a complex range of negative consequences for health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.  In addition to contributing to both acute and chronic disease and injury, substance misuse is associated with destructive social conditions, including family dysfunction, lower prosperity, domestic violence and crime.

Electronic Cigarettes

Not just a harmless vapor

Alcohol remains the most prevalent substance misused in the United States and in New Hampshire. Underage drinking, binge drinking, regular heavy drinking and drinking during pregnancy are some forms of alcohol misuse that pose highest risk. Marijuana is the illicit drug most likely to be used by teens and young adults. A majority of people being admitted to treatment programs in NH cite marijuana as a primary or secondary reason for seeking treatment. Marijuana use has a wide range of effects, particularly on cardiopulmonary and mental health, and is also known to be a contributing factor leading to the use of other drugs.

Alcohol remains the most prevalent substance misused in the United States and in New Hampshire.

In recent years, the misuse of prescription medications, particularly prescription pain relievers, has significantly increased as a risk to individual health and can be a contributing factor leading to misuse of other drugs including heroin and a cause of unintentional overdose and mortality.

For information about prescription drug disposal, see our resource here

Local community coalitions & Initiatives

Working to develop improved capacity and strategies to prevent and reduce substance abuse

Drug Disposal

For information about prescription drug disposal, see our resource here

Strategic Approach

STRATEGY 1:  Leadership – Cultivate expanded leadership, particularly among state lawmakers and policy makers, to improve understanding of the impact of alcohol and other drug misuse in the state; to improve understanding of effective policies, programs and practices to address misuse; and to develop champions for such efforts.
STRATEGY 2:  Financial resourcing – advocate for and support adequate, sustained financial resourcing of alcohol and drug misuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery supports.
STRATEGY 3: Public education – increase public awareness relative to the harm and consequences of alcohol and drug misuse, treatment and recovery support services available, and that recovery is achievable. 
STRATEGY 4: Training and professional development – support training availability and access relative to alcohol and other drug topics for a wide range of professionals and practitioners within different community sectors. 
STRATEGY 5: Collaboration – Foster partnerships among key community sectors including alignment of efforts with the financial stability partnership.
STRATEGY 6:  Technical assistance – Provide technical assistance to Support and enhance efforts of existing local coalitions, to develop local coalitions in additional communities, and to Expand treatment services and recovery supports for youth and adults.
STRATEGY 7: Data utilization – continue to collect and share data about the impact of alcohol and drug misuse on individuals, families, communities and community sectors, and about successful efforts to reduce misuse and promote recovery.
STRATEGY 8: Effective policy, practice and programs – promote the implementation of effective policies, practices and programs across and within community sectors and systems and through a combination of direct programming, early intervention and environmental change activities.