- Associated Press - Friday, July 11, 2014

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) - The police department in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is hosting a discussion on opiate addiction called “Community Access to Recovery Day.”

The event at 10 a.m. Saturday is the first for the department, which is working with Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Seacoast Mental Health and others. The idea is to invite those affected by drug abuse to receive information on available services and resources in their community.

The open invitation includes those who are actively battling addiction and need help, and friends and family who wish to learn more about what’s available for their loved ones.

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Counselors will be available for assistance.

There will be an “Amnesty Box” where attendees are encouraged to bring any illicit or prescription drugs or paraphernalia to be turned in anonymously with no questions asked.

The event is at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

The police department said in a news release that the Seacoast area, along with many other communities across New Hampshire, have experienced “a significant increase” in overdoses, crime and deaths due to narcotics abuse.

“We will continue to use traditional enforcement strategies, but we seek to supplement those strategies with an approach that recognizes the difficulty that those addicted face in getting off of opiates such as heroin and its’ prescription drug equivalents,” the department said.

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