The opioid crisis has led to a second “silent epidemic” of brain injuries nationwide and here in NH. For every overdose death, there are approximately fifty overdose survivors, 90% of whom become impaired because of insufficient oxygen to the brain. Brain injury is a little-known offshoot of NH’s drug crisis – but the connection between drug overdose and brain injury is real.
In January 2019, the Brain Injury Association of NH assembled an interagency task force to develop a strategic plan to raise awareness of the connection between drug overdose and brain injury, develop educational resources and implement trainings to help with the prevention of brain injury and to improve the identification and treatment protocols for drug overdose survivors who sustain a brain injury. The task force developed a plan focused on 3 target audiences:
Since then, the task force has continued to meet to identify opportunities to implement the plan and look for additional funding resources. Outcomes to date include: