January 18, 2023 Breakfast Meeting Notes

January 18, 2023 Breakfast Meeting Notes


We began with Beth calling the meeting to order as Braden was absent.


First up was NH Trivia, Plymouth Superlatives edition


50/50 was won by Bill.

Card was drawn by Beth. She pulled the 7 of hearts so the game goes on.


Jenny introduced the speaker, David Suckling, the Alexandria Chief of Police, speaking on the development of that town as a recovery-friendly community.


Some years ago Chief Suckling started talking about substance use disorder with a group of addicts in Nashua and asked what police were doing right, what they were doing wrong, and what they could do to help. He came away with a new understanding of the fact that substance use is a disease and needed to be treated as such. He joined the board of CADY and was asked if the Alexandria PD would be willing to become a recovery-friendly workplace. Since the PD is small, only 3 employees, he suggested making a broader effort by making the whole town a recovery-friendly community. The idea is to say that drug use is not ok but recovery is cool, so if people need extra help to deal with their recovery, such as taking time off to go for a doctor’s appointment, they are allowed to do that.


Chief Suckling noted that Alexandria is a beautiful small town, but it also has marijuana, fentanyl, and meth, and since they had such a small department, they didn’t have time to go looking for dealers. The state of NH has a program (with federal funds) to combat drug trafficking so they got some help from Franklin, which sent additional officers to Alexandria to help with the project. There are more than 400 overdose deaths/yr in New Hampshire, much more than 3x the number that die in traffic deaths, so there is a huge need to get this problem under control. But there is also a huge financial incentive to sell; meth gets imported here from Arizona, and “wholesale” purchase of meth costing $8,000 sells for $96,000. 


Because Alexandria is a small town, the officers take this job personally; they usually know the kids and the families getting into trouble. Police officers started to carry Narcan and they give it out. They will pull people over who have a minor issue, like a taillight out, and if they find nothing to charge, they tell the drivers that they are free to go…BUT if they want to talk about recovery they can stay. Sometimes the driver just requests a bottle of Narcan but it comes with some literature on quitting. Some of them go directly to a recovery program; Chief Suckling has partnered with CADY and Plymouth Area Recovery Connection to get addicts into a program within 2 hours of contact. Since recovery costs money, the program gets people on Medicaid immediately so they can afford to be treated. Transportation can also be a problem; if people in recovery can’t get to a clinic, they will go on the street. But having employers be patient and flexible helps people get the help they need.


Other topics: Christmas decorations can come down at any time, though we usually wait until  March.


Bill noted that folks can buy a ticket to the Meredith Ice Fishing Derby without fishing. Just buying a ticket means you will be entered into a raffle for lots and lots of prizes Remember to take ice picks to pull yourself out if you go through thin ice!


Styrofoam recycling: We are still waiting for the bags to put the stuff into. When they arrive, we can schedule pickup day at Habitat.


Note if you get an email from Mike that is addressed to “dear Plymouth Rotarian” it means it’s already been sent to everyone; no need to forward it multiple times.


Peggy has been talking to Plymouth Police Department to schedule a rabies clinic. The consensus was to hold it on Saturday, March 4.


Tomorrow Bill will be hosting an Interact meeting at the PrHS at 7 am. Sign in at main office, meet in the library.


Respectfully submitted,

Lora Miller, secretary