Report: N.H. news media reports more on addiction than any other states

  • In May, Gilford Police seized more than five grams of suspected narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil.

Monitor staff
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New Hampshire news organizations have devoted a higher proportion of stories to coverage of the opioid crisis and addiction than similar groups in any other state, according to a study released Tuesday.

The study, from a private addiction treatment center called Ambrosia, said that 2.24 percent of “state news coverage” in New Hampshire over the past 12 months covered drug addiction. That is far more than the next-highest state, Alaska, where 1.6 percent of stories were related to addiction.

Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine were also in the top six states in terms of highest percentage of addiction-related coverage, according to the study. Ambrosia said it is an indication of the extent of the problem and that widespread drug addiction is a relatively new problem in Northern New England.

“The top 10 was dominated by states that are only more recently struggling with addiction,” the report said.

Most states are facing the opioid crisis but Alaska is something of an outlier, it said, because it “consistently leads the nation in population-adjusted alcohol poisoning deaths.”

The study said that “local media sources,” as compared to stories in national publications discussing New Hampshire, “made up the overwhelming majority of addiction coverage.”

The report was compiled, Ambrosia said, by using “leading PR software to gather 187.3 million English media stories. … Articles were analyzed for media sentiment using an advanced language processing algorithm.”

Ambrosia has operations in California, New Jersey and Florida.