Season 1, Episode 8

Saving Lives: Preventing Opioid Overdose and Death in NH

Jul 5, 2022

At one point during the campaign season for the 2016 election, New Hampshire was referred to as ground zero for opioid overdoses because we ranked number one in fentanyl related deaths per capita. Fast forward to today, what does the situation look like now? Hear how statewide strategies are saving lives.

With federal funding from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration), the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension (UNH Extension) builds on the efforts of the State’s Opioid Response (SOR). The Partnership sits down with Melissa Lee, the project director with the UNH Extension to explore how this new funding collaborates with stakeholders to implement evidence based opioid prevention strategies that ultimately bend the curve on overdose and death. Expanded programs for individuals living with chronic pain and learning opportunities for healthcare providers serving them are a few of the successful alternative strategies to medication for managing pain. Also, they are working with The Partnership to get the word out about prevention tools and messaging and to address the endless need for stigma reduction to normalize asking for help with behavioral health issues.

Explore more on the topics and themes discussed in this episode:

UNH Extension

Evidence-based Opioid Prevention Strategies

Living Well With Chronic Pain

Southern NH Area Health Education Center

NH Behavioral Health Services, NH DHHS

Host & Guests

Featured Guest:

Melissa Lee

Host: Christin D’Ovidio


Episode Transcript (PDF)

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Melissa Lee joined UNH Extension in 2019, bringing with her both passion and expertise in advancing community and individual health. She graduated from Plymouth State University with a B.S. in Health Education and an M. Ed in Adult Education and Development. She worked for many years immersed in community health initiatives in the Lakes Region of NH, developing and leading community coalitions, facilitating evidence based workshops, and creating partnerships among community organizations. Melissa is passionate about creating healthy environments and systems change to bring about improved health and quality of life.

Melissa is the Project Director for the SAMHSA funded NH Opioid Prevention Project and is a Certified Prevention Specialist. She serves on the Prevention Task Force of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drugs and the Governor’s Council on Physical Activity and Health. She is also an instructor in Youth Mental Health First Aid as well as a variety of chronic disease prevention and self-management programs.

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