The Opioid Epidemic: A Case Study in Manchester, NH

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Southern New Hampshire University
This study sought to find and understand the key areas of public health policy governing the response to the Opioid Epidemic in Manchester, New Hampshire that should be reformed to better support the community. This evaluation was made by identifying the needs of the community in coping with, and responding to, the issue and comparing these findings with federal funding initiatives. The study was designed using a mixed methodology in which both qualitative and quantitative data were gathered for cross-comparison. To understand the needs of the community, qualitative data was gathered by coding and analyzing transcripts from fourteen interviews and a focus group. Interview participants were sorted into four groups: recovery specialists, first responders, and policy experts. The focus group participants were people in recovery for Opioid Use Disorder. To understand the policies supported and funded by the federal government, and implemented at the state level, all federal grants to New Hampshire regarding the Epidemic were tracked and sorted into four categories: prevention, capacity, harm reduction, and training/monitoring/research. These two datasets were cross-analyzed to identify the gaps between the needs of the community and federal and state policy focuses.