Granite House founder meets with leaders

COURTESY PHOTOU.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte meets with Eric Spofford of Derry, founder and CEO of The Granite House in Derry, and CEO of New Freedom Academy in Canterbury (left), and also Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander.

Eric Spofford, founder and CEO of the Granite House in Derry testified before the Senate Health Labor Education and Pensions Committee in Washinton D.C. last week, speaking on the opioid abuse epidemic in New Hampshire.

The Granite House is a men’s sober living community and halfway house.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte visited Granite House last month to learn about the facility’s programs and discuss legislation she has introduced to address the state’s heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic.

Following her visit, Ayotte recommended that the HELP Committee invite Spofford to testify about his first-hand experience with this issue. Spofford is also the CEO of New Freedom Academy, a residential treatment center in Canterbury.

“Eric and so many others are doing incredibly important work to help people in New Hampshire overcome substance use disorders, and his testimony will further underscore the urgency of this issue to policymakers on Capitol Hill,” said Ayotte. “We need to do more to support our first responders, law enforcement, and medical and mental health treatment providers like Eric who are on the front lines of this crisis, and I will continue to push for passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to provide much-needed support for first responders, treatment providers, and individuals in recovery.”

Spofford said he appreciated the interest in finding a solution in regards to the heroin epidemic.

“It was great to see such an interest in getting to a solution in regards to the heroin epidemic and also an honor to be invited by Sen. Ayotte to be of service to the Senate HELP committee,” Spofford said. “I look forward to continuing to work with Sen. Ayotte and offer my suggestions about how we can work together to bring more attention to the heroin crisis and find solutions to address it.”

During his testimony Spofford noted that creating harder sentencing law for the distribution of and trafficking of fentanyl is incredibly important.

"This drug is a serial killer," he said.

Among her many pieces of legislation to address this issue, Ayotte in September introduced the Stop Trafficking in Fentanyl Act, which would enhance trafficking penalties for fentanyl to ensure the law appropriately reflects its potency and its increasing prevalence in drug overdose deaths.

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