NH Governor’s Commission Action Plan Dashboard

Our Plan

Strengthening Our Response Together is the NH Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and other Drugs’ Action Plan to comprehensively address our state’s addiction crisis. This updated three-year strategic plan serves as a blueprint for shared efforts with a focus on alignment, coordination, innovation and accountability. The plan encompasses best practices and other key strategy recommendations made by Commission members, Commission Task Forces, and other key stakeholders.

Our Goal

The Commission’s goal is to reduce the misuse of alcohol and other drugs across the lifespan through the implementation of effective programs, practices and policies.

Note: Dashboard updates to reflect updated Action Plan coming soon. This Action Plan dashboard tracks progress on the four objectives for accomplishing this goal over the period from January 2019 to December 2021. It is important to note that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted this work significantly and that NH providers rose to the challenge, providing services and supports virtually and in person throughout the pandemic.

Objective One – Reduce Lives Lost to Alcohol and Drug Use

The epidemic of addiction and drug overdose is a public health crisis touching every community in NH. Use of illicit opioids, particularly fentanyl, in combination with other substances, account for the vast majority of overdoses and deaths caused by overdose. NH has implemented multiple strategies to address this crisis including distribution of the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone through multiple systems to people who may use drugs, and their friends, and family members. While opioid misuse, and the increasing misuse of stimulants, is of grave concern, the use of alcohol increased during the pandemic years and is likely to continue to impact mortality rates for years to come.

It is important to note that while throughout the US overdose mortality increased dramatically during the pandemic, in NH there was no increase in overdose deaths and in fact there was a reduction of more than 10% over the three years of this Action Plan.

Our objective targets include:

  • 1.1: Decrease the number of drug overdose deaths by 25% by 2021.
  • 1.2: Decrease the number of alcohol-induced deaths by 15% by 2021.

Data source: NH Office of Chief Medical Examiner, 2020 and 2021 Drug Death Data Report. Data for 2021 is an estimate due to pending toxicology reports. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death on CDC WONDER Online Database, last accessed January 2022.



Objective Two – Reduce Negative Health Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Use
The challenges of substance misuse and addiction were overwhelming community and state systems of care, from emergency rooms and law enforcement to child protection and other services when this plan was created. While made much more complex by the pandemic, that tide has begun to turn. Indicators of negative health consequences include the volume of Emergency Medical Service and Emergency Department cases involving substance use.

Our objective targets include:

  • 2.1: Reduce the number of EMS cases resulting from drug overdose / misuse of medications by 15% by 2021.
  • 2.2: Reduce the number of EMS cases resulting from alcohol abuse and effects by 10% by 2021.
  • 2.3: Reduce the number of Emergency Department visits related to opioid use by 25% by 2021.

*Important Note – The data being reported for 2020 opioid-related ED visits has different collection criteria than previous years. Due to the new collection criteria, data from 2020 onwards is no longer comparable to data from prior years.
Data sources: For EMS Provider Impressions: NH Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, Trauma and Emergency Medical Services Information System, as of December 2021. For Opioid ED Visits: NH Drug Monitoring Initiative, December 2021 data.



Objective Three – Increase Access to Treatment Services

Significant progress has been made to increase access to substance use services and supports in NH including:

Our objective targets include:

  • 3.1: Increase the number the individuals enrolled in substance use treatment by 25% by 2021.
  • 3.2: Decrease the number of individuals who need, but are not receiving treatment for substance use by 10% by 2021.

 The datasets identified to track progress toward this objective are no longer an accurate measure of New Hampshire’s progress in these areas. New targets and measures will be released in 2022.
Data sources: National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSAT) for estimates of those involved in substance abuse treatment. Data not collected in 2018. Data for 2021 are not yet available. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2018-2019, State-Specific Tables of Model-Based Estimates for estimates of individuals needing but not receiving treatment. State-level data for 2020 and 2021 are not yet available, as of January 2022.



Objective Four – Reduce Alcohol and other Drug Misuse Across the Lifespan

Reduction of alcohol and other drug misuse and consequences on the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities requires comprehensive effective prevention of the initiation of misuse, and intervention with problematic use across the lifespan.
Our objective targets include:

  • 4.1: Decrease the proportion of NH residents ages 12+ who report current binge alcohol use by 2.5% by 2021.
  • 4.2: Decrease current marijuana use among NH high school students to less than 21% by 2021.
  • 4.3: Decrease the proportion of NH residents ages 12+ who report recent illicit drug use other than marijuana by 0.5% by 2021.


The federal datasets identified to track progress toward this objective do not provide timely information. New targets and measures will be released in 2022.
Data source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2018-2019 State-Specific Tables of Model-Based Prevalence Estimates. State-level data for 2021 and 2020 not yet available, as of January 2022.

Data source: NH Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Youth Online, last accessed January 2022. Data is collected in odd numbered years. NH data was collected in the fall of 2021, due to COVID-19, and those data will be available in 2022.

 Data source: The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) was completed by 13,710 students in 72 public high schools in NH during the spring of 2019. The school response rate was 89%, the students response rate was 84%, and the overall response rate was 75%. The results are representative of all students in grades 9-12.


Publicly Available NH Data related to Alcohol and other Drugs

More data related to alcohol and other drugs services and impacts in NH is publicly available now than ever before. Additional data is available through the NH Department of Health and Human Services Data Portal and NH Medicaid Quality Behavioral Health Care metrics, the NH Department of Safety Drug Monitoring Initiative, and the NH Department of Education Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results.

Additional Governor’s Commission materials are available in the Resource Library. For further information or to request a printed copy of a Governor’s Commission Report, please Contact Us.