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    Posted September 18, 2015 by
    BrendaOlson
    Location
    Laconia, New Hampshire
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    2016 Election: Spot the presidential hopefuls

    More from BrendaOlson

    CLINTON TAKES TIME AWAY FROM CAMPAIGN TO ADDRESS NEW HAMPSHIRE’S DRUG PROBLEM

     
    Hillary Clinton took time from her campaign to speak at a drug awareness event at the Boys & Girls Club located in Laconia on September 18.

    I was overwhelmed with the number of people squeezing into the hall on such a warm day to discuss New Hampshire’s drug problem, but quickly realized many of the attendees were personally affected by the drug abuse problem in New Hampshire.

    At 3:15 p.m. the electric fans were turned off and the crowd took their seats. Silence filled the hall in anticipation of Senator Clinton’s arrival. The warmth of the hall was almost unbearable, but when Senator Clinton walked on stage, everyone stood to welcome her and ignored the uncomfortable weather.

    The Laconia Chief of Police commented on the severe drug problem facing New Hampshire and indicated the funds to incarcerate offenders was over $1,000 per day, but the cost to rehabilitate an individual would be significantly less. Many parents shared their stories about addiction and rehabilitation and a few even shared their stories about the loss of loved ones due to drug overdoses.

    Senator Clinton emphasized that the real problem is a disease and if those affected by the disease are left untreated, the problem will only get worse. But, if individuals are treated and rehabilitated instead of being incarcerated, positive results happen and lives can and will be saved. Funding obviously needs to be set up to support such a program. As a reporter, I should not allow my personal emotions to affect my reporting, but I have to admit, the stories many parents told touched my heart.

    Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican shouldn’t matter. Don’t allow any more lives to be lost needlessly. Help support a solution to drug abuse and find the funds to rehabilitate instead of incarcerate. It can and will save lives and maybe even someone you know.

    Thank you, Hillary, for taking time out from your campaign to address this problem and for including a solution to drug abuse in your plan.

    Brenda E. Olson, CNN iReporter
    Jonathan C. Olson, Videographer/Photographer
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