Member Spotlight - September 2015

An entry from the September issue of the NHPHA e-Newsletter

photoThis month, the spotlight shines on Joe Gallagher, Communications Director of New Futures.  New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to reduce drug and alcohol problems in New Hampshire by educating, advocating and collaborating with organizations [like NHPHA] to address substance use problems through progressive state policy. 

September is National Recovery Month and in observance, New Futures is helping promote the We Believe in Recovery Rally & Inspired Recovery, taking place on September 26th at White Park in Concord.   The R
ally is a family-friendly event seeking to educate and raise awareness about addiction and the journey to recovery and had over 500 attendees last year.  Joe mentioned that one barrier the substance misuse field constantly faces is stigma.  “In an effort to raise awareness about stigma and promote the rally, we [New Futures] created People in Recovery Read the Union Leader Comments Section on September 1.”

When asked what he liked most about his position and working with New Futures, Joe answered, “Seeing people who are positively impacted by policy is a good reminder of why this type of work is important.  It’s always great to hear stories of someone improving their situation and prospering.”  Joe goes on to say, “Too often we view the “addict” as a criminal or person panhandling, but it’s important to note that many people in recovery are doctors, lawyers, and even own businesses.”   NF Logo

The New Hampshire Public Health Association works to improve health, prevent disease, and reduce costs for all.  Joe believes that New Futures shares very similar values. “Public health doesn’t neatly edge itself off like a garden he explains, “issues are connected both positively and negatively. Substance abuse compounds with other social problems like mental illness.”  Joe goes on to say, “The vision at New Futures aligns with the great public health work done by NHPHA. Everyone benefits from an improved public health system, so the partnership made a lot of sense.”

In 2012, alcohol and drug misuse cost New Hampshire more than $1.84 billion annually in lost productivity and earnings, increased expenditures for healthcare, and public safety costs. “If substance abuse is reduced, many of the associated problems can be positively impacted.”  

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