Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Leonid Bershidsky

New Hampshire Tests Candidates on Addiction

The state's drug epidemic has forced candidates to recall painful personal stories, but they have struggled to offer solutions.
His problem is an election issue.

His problem is an election issue.

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Updated on

Melissa Crews has always voted Democratic, though her husband is a staunch Republican. This year, the family split is coming to an end: Melissa is switching sides, and heroin is the principal reason.

Crews is board chair at Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, a nonprofit she helped set up last year to battle the state's heroin epidemic. New Hampshire was third in the nation in death rates from overdoses in 2014 (the latest year for which data are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and in the top 10 for the use of illicit drugs other than marijuana. People who work for local nonprofits fighting the rising drug use say at least 100,000 of the state's 1.3 million people need help with addictions.