Substance Misuse Awareness Task Force

The Substance Misuse Awareness Task Force aims to approach the issue of substance misuse in New Hampshire from three angles: prevention, education, and recovery.

Prevention: Work with local organizations to spread practices of safe use and harm reduction

Education: Inform the community about substance use disorders with the goal of destigmatizing them and encouraging recovery

Recovery: Promote and support local rehabilitation programs and recovery resources

Group Members

  • Ian Ayer
  • Sandra Black
  • Emma Blair
  • Alex Carbone
  • Faith Farnham
  • Brianna Judkins
  • Adriana Radosavljevic
  • Anna Roberge
  • Grace Roy
  • Mitch Scacchi
  • Madison Smith

Our mission is to assist with substance misuse prevention, education, and recovery for the New Hampshire community. As the opioid crisis in New Hampshire continues, we hope that the work we do as a task force can impact the way students on this campus understand substance misuse and help provide resources for our greater community. Below are some of our recent activities and partnerships:

Lecture with John Broderick

John Broderick is the Senior Director of External Affairs for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, and previously served as Chief Justice of the NH Supreme Court. He is dedicated to educating youth about mental health and substance use and created the REACT Campaign, which educates people about signs of mental illness and how to take action. The Substance Misuse Awareness Task Force and Dr. Semra Aytur of the UNH Health Management and Policy department hosted Mr. Broderick who presented for an audience of Hamel Scholars and several UNH classes.

Wound Kit Construction

Members of our Task Force collaborated with the UNH Nursing Department during the fall of 2020 to construct Wound Care Kits. These kits will be distributed to those in need by the NH Harm Reduction Coalition.

HAND UP Health Services Kit Making

Since 2019, we have partnered with HAND UP Health Services, the syringe services program of the New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition. HAND UP provides community-based harm reduction services for people who use injectable drugs. Since the beginning of our partnership, we have helped to construct over 500 kits which include sterile needles, naloxone, tourniquets, and other resources.

Winter Clothing Drive

In addition to assisting HAND UP with harm-reduction kit making, we have also hosted two clothing drives on the UNH campus to collect warm winter clothing that is distributed to people in need who utilize HAND UP’s community outreach services

  • Other events and networking:
    • Attended the UNH Sidore Lecture Series which was focused on the opioid crisis
    • Educational meeting with Dr. Kerry Nolte of the UNH Nursing department to discuss harm reduction strategies
    • New partnership with the UNH Cooperative Extension, with plans for future work with their activities surrounding opioid misuse prevention and health messaging and promotion