First-of-its-Kind Opioid Addiction Treatment Facility to Open in New Hampshire

Overdose deaths in New Hampshire's largest city in 2015 have spiked 40 percent from the number originally reported. Police say 96 people died last year from drugs.

In another effort to combat the growing heroin epidemic, a new, first-of-it's kind treatment facility will open next month.

The construction inside the Ray House in Franklin is almost finished, but the rebuilding of lives is just getting started.

"We're not trying to show people how to live, we are trying to remind them they have it inside them," said Dr. Cheryl Wilkie, Senior Vice President of Easter Seals Treatment.

As part of Farnum Center North, the Ray House will be the first residential drug treatment center specifically for veterans in the Granite State.

"We don't want to stick them with a bunch of people who have no idea what they've been through," Wilkie said. "When they have been brothers and sisters to each other, we want to give them that space to get well."

The Ray House will add 22 beds to the 60 available at the Farnum Center in Manchester where people like Dana Dussault find their way back to life without drugs.

"Addiction affects all walks of life so everyone should have a fair shot," Dussault said in an interview Thursday.

That fair shot is what saved Wilkie's life too.

"I've been in recovery for almost 28 years now and when I went into treatment I was really lucky," she said. "I got nurses who just loved me when I couldn't love myself."

Wilkie says right now, New Hampshire veterans battling addiction can only find specialized residential care in Vermont or Massachusetts. The Ray House will change that.

"We want to keep our veterans here in New Hampshire and this facility is for them," Wilkie said.

Construction will wrap up within the next two weeks and veterans can move in by the beginning of March.

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