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“Opioids: The Crisis Next Door” Plan Addresses National Opioid Crisis

Acknowledging the impact of the opioid crisis throughout the U.S., and its specific impact in New Hampshire, President Trump traveled to Manchester on March 19 to meet with local law enforcement, treatment and recovery professionals and to deliver a plan to address the national opioid epidemic.

The President’s plan focuses on reducing demand through education, awareness and preventing over-prescription of painkillers; reducing the flow of drug shipments over the border and instituting stiffer penalties for drug traffickers; and expanding access to and Medicaid reimbursements for treatment.

“The President’s choice to address the issue in New Hampshire is meaningful,” says Nadine Sacco, Executive Director of The Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development at Rivier University. “His dedication to education, awareness and federal funding for expanded treatment and substance misuse prevention are welcome news to those of us battling the opioid epidemic.”

Eric Gentes, Esq., Associate Professor and Director of Rivier’s Criminal Justice Program, adds, “The current opioid epidemic has been years in the making, and it may take years before significant progress is made in addressing it. As the administration has recognized, a broad-based approach will be needed to do so. In addition to employing law enforcement we need to leverage public health, education and other resources in the campaign. We also need to avoid the mistake of the past in labeling such a campaign a ‘War on Drugs’, which simplified the complexity of the problem and had the effect of demonizing those suffering from addiction.”

The Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development at Rivier University is an initiative in response to the increasing demand for professionals in fields of behavioral health and substance use disorder. The Center partners with regional healthcare providers to ensure a well-trained workforce is ready to meet the demands of regional healthcare and social service providers, schools and governmental agencies. The Center is a hub for behavioral health professions, highlighting Rivier’s unique ability to expand the workforce pipeline through the delivery of targeted academic programs.