On May 20, 2022, Governor Chris Sununu met with Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Dr. Gupta is in New Hampshire today to learn of the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative first launched by Governor Chris Sununu in March of 2018.
Since its inception in New Hampshire, the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative has grown nationwide. Currently, the program has been adopted in 28 states across the country and counting. The program has also been adopted in Washington D.C. and Canada. In New Hampshire alone, over 300 businesses are designated as Recovery Friendly Workplaces representing roughly 84,000 employees.
“New Hampshire led the nation in addressing our opioid crisis head-on with innovative programs like Recovery Friendly Workplaces,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Through this program, we’ve worked hard to change the culture around addiction by engaging employers as part of the solution, ensuring access to tools and resources is easier than ever before. I’m thrilled to welcome Dr. Gupta to New Hampshire as he hears firsthand of the program’s success as it’s taken hold across the country.”
During his visit, Dr. Gupta met with Recovery Friendly Workplace employers to hear firsthand about the program’s success.
Bucking national trends, New Hampshire is projected to reduce the number of lives lost to drug overdoses by nearly 14% from 2017 to 2021, one of the only states in the nation to see this decline.
When Governor Sununu took office in 2017, there were 490 overdose deaths. In 2018, they decreased to 471. In 2019, they decreased even further to 415. In 2020, they held steady at 417. Initial data suggests that 2021 numbers will also hold steady with preliminary data totaling roughly 425 overdose deaths.
According to CDC data from February 2022, there were an estimated 101,263 drug overdose deaths in the United States between June of 2020 and June of 2021. This was an increase of 20.6% from the same period the year before. During this same time period, New Hampshire held steady on overdose deaths. This data solidifies New Hampshire’s track record as a nationwide leader in bucking the national trends and saving lives.
The Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative is a central component of New Hampshire’s comprehensive strategy for reducing overdose deaths. Additionally, under Governor Sununu’s direction the state has:
- Launched The Doorway program statewide, which has proven a vital resource in ensuring 24/7 access to treatment and recovery services, within reach of all NH communities
- Utilized the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drugs to craft a strategic plan to address the substance epidemic in New Hampshire
- Authorized $6 Million in funding during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide support and relief to critical mental health and substance use disorder services in NH to ensure they withstood the challenges presented by the pandemic