New poll finds N.H. residents more concerned about heroin problem than ever before

Last modified: 7/24/2015 12:33:51 AM
More people than ever are concerned with the growing drug problem in the state, according to a recent WMUR Granite State Poll.

Drug abuse is now seen as the second-most important problem plaguing New Hampshire, behind the lack of jobs and a still-sluggish economy, according to the poll, which was released Tuesday.

Out of 532 randomly selected poll participants, 25 percent said they were most concerned about the economy, followed by 14 percent who said drug abuse.

University of New Hampshire professor and pollster Andy Smith said that while the numbers didn’t surprise him, it’s certainly the most he’s heard about drugs – and specifically, opiates – in the 15 years he’s conducted the survey.

“They’re saying heroin, almost exclusively heroin,” Smith said.

In addition to asking New Hampshire residents about the most pressing problems facing the state, Smith and his team followed up with specific questions about drugs.

Eighty-two percent of residents said that heroin is a very serious problem in the state, and 46 percent said they personally know someone who has abused the drug in the past five years.

Still, when it comes to a potential solution to the problem, Granite Staters are more divided. Of those surveyed, 42 percent said the believed the government should spend more to address heroin abuse, while 20 percent believe the government is spending enough and another 38 percent said they didn’t know enough about the issue to respond.

(Ella Nilsen can be reached at 369-3322, or on Twitter @ella_nilsen.)

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