Dear Members of the NH General Court, Chair of House Finance Committee Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Hillsborough District 2:
Thank you for your service and for holding these hearings.
My name is Marty Boldin. I am a person in long-term recovery and for me that means that I have been living life, beyond addiction, since 1987, one day at a time.
I am also a member of the board of directors for HOPE for New Hampshire Recovery and New Futures. I am the recovery representative to the Governor’s Commission for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery. I am a Dean’s Fellow and Doctoral Student at the Boston University School of Social Work. Before now, I served for 10 years as the Director of the City of Manchester Office of Youth Services, where I worked with thousands of young people and families who struggled every day to find a path to recovery.
I own two homes in the state and, while I pay taxes on both, I only get to vote once. So I make sure I vote every chance I get: Every special election, every primary, every general election, I vote.
All of these accomplishments are possible because 27 years ago treatment and recovery services were available for people and families who suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction.
Today, children and families who experience addiction in this state – in our state, in New Hampshire – suffer needlessly from alcoholism and drug addiction. In part, this is because previous general courts have reneged on the promise made over a decade ago to take a fraction from profits of alcohol sales to pay for prevention, treatment, and recovery services. I hope this general court demonstrates the courage and wisdom to diverge from that dubious path.
In my old neighborhood we used to say, “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.” In New Hampshire we don’t even have a knife. We stand empty-handed in this state as unfettered addiction changes our communities, our neighborhoods, and our families one day at a time. Please understand this change will continue until we are unable to recognize New Hampshire.
No community is immune. No tragedy is mundane. No small-minded gesture will disable what lays in our path. Alcoholism and drug addiction destroys all kinds of relationships. I hope we have not gone too far. I hope you will help us as we seek to stem the tide.
You are in the unique and enviable position to arm us in this battle as we aim to make recovery possible for everyone in New Hampshire. Please don’t desert us here in our hour of need.
In the weeks and months moving forward there will be more news stories about alcohol-induced fatalities and opiate overdoses. All these tragedies needlessly take lives that, like mine, could have made a difference. As these stories find their way to your ears please guard yourself against the position of being able to help but refusing to lend a hand.
We need your help. Without you, this is all too much for all of us who are holding the line waiting for you to “fund the fund.” Please pay honor to those who worked to legislate the ‘Alcohol Fund’ and to those who have perished waiting for the promise of that legislation to be kept.
Marty Boldin is a Dean’s Fellowship recipient at the Boston University School of Social Work where he is pursing a PhD. His primary area of focus is addiction science with specialization in the area of trauma studies. He is also researching social welfare implications of Marijuana Policy. Marty is a member of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery where he chairs the Recovery Services Subcommittee.
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