State suspends intake at Granite Pathways youth center after drug overdoses

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Police are investigating five overdoses at Granite Pathways youth recovery center. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

MANCHESTER, NH — The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has ordered Granite Pathways Youth Treatment Center not take in any more patients until the agency completes its review of Monday night’s incident in which five girls overdosed on Xanax.

“The incident that occurred last night at the Granite Pathways Youth Treatment Center is under review,” Kathy Remillard, DHHS public information officer, said in an email.  “Our priority is ensuring the health and safety of the youths who are there today. We have directed Granite Pathways to suspend all admissions to the program until our review is complete.”

Manchester police are conducting an investigation into the incident as well as another overdose, logged at 8:55 p.m. Sunday Nov. 24 at the facility.

Emergency personnel were called Monday night to the 1056 River Road facility, on the campus of the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center, formerly the Youth Development Center.

Manchester Fire Chief Daniel Goonan said all of the girls were treated at hospitals and then released.

He said AMR sent three ambulances, with each transporting one patient, while Goffstown and Hooksett ambulances took one patient each to the hospital.

“We think somebody must have gotten it (Xanax) in,” Goonan said.  He said the drug could have been bought on the street or taken from a parent’s medicine cabinet.

“I am sure the facility and the police department are looking into it,”  he said.

Xanax, Goonan said, is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety disorders.

“Anything can really be abused when taken not as prescribed,” he said.

Last July, three teenage girls, who walked away from the facility in search of alcohol,  allegedly were sexually assaulted by two men who videotaped the incidents on their cell phones.

The River Road center serves children ages 12 to 17 who seek treatment for drug or alcohol issues.

About this Author

Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.