Marsch Testifies Before the U.S. House Bipartisan Heroin Task Force

In a briefing to the House Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, Lisa Marsch, PhD, Principal Investigator of the Northeast Node of the National Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network, director of the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health, and the Andrew G. Wallace Professor of Psychiatry at Geisel School of Medicine, presented data from her NIDA-funded New Hampshire Hot Spot Study on heroin and synthetic drug use.

The study was conducted under the Drug Warning System Initiative and was designed to evaluate factors giving rise to the drug crisis. According to Marsch, New Hampshire ranks number one in the country for fentanyl overdose deaths—an increase of nearly 1600 percent over the past five years.

In her opening remarks, she said, “We’ve seen a number of patterns in our preliminary results that really underscore a number of factors that seem to be giving rise to what we are observing in New Hampshire. Users report that fentanyl hit the market in a really substantial way a couple of years ago, particularly in the Southern part of the state.

“Users reported it’s much less expensive and more potent so it has an economic advantage relative to heroin, and although we do have some users report they are accidentally getting fentanyl when they are seeking heroin, we find that some are purposely seeking our fentanyl as their preferred drug of choice.”

You can watch the full briefing here: