Sununu to announce expansion of recovery friendly business initiative 

  • Gov. Chris Sununu AP

For the Monitor
Published: 3/26/2018 7:21:53 PM

Gov. Chris Sununu likes to tout how he came up with the idea behind an initiative that helps New Hampshire employers assist workers recovering from addiction.

“It’s an idea I literally came up with in the shower when I was running Waterville (Valley resort),” Sununu said last week in a speech to the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday the governor will join business leaders, recovery advocates, and state officials at the State House to announce what’s being billed as “the nationwide roll-out” of the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative.

The initiative launched at the beginning of March empowers businesses and workplaces to provide support for employees recovering from substance abuse by directing them to treatment and recovery facilities in their communities.

Last week Sununu highlighted that New Hampshire is the only place in the country that has such a program. 

“Already four other states have contacted us,” Sununu said. “It’s going to go national in a matter of months.”

The governor is expected to announce the participation of another state in his initiative. 

New Hampshire has been hard hit by the heroin and opioid epidemic. According to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has the third-highest rate of death from a drug overdose per capita (39 per 100,000), behind West Virginia and Ohio.

“We were one of the first ones into this crisis but we’re nimble. We’re trying new programs that other people aren’t even thinking of. We are going to be one of the first ones to come out of it,” Sununu said.

And he highlighted that the state is seeing a slight drop in the number of overdose deaths, which had set year-over-year records.

“One is still too many,” Sununu said. “We know that. But the fact is we are starting to turn the tide a little bit here.”

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