At first glance, Manchester, New Hampshire, seems a typical New England town. A pleasant, low-key sort of place, free of extreme poverty or urban decay.
You do not have to look far, however, to see something is amiss: this is a town firmly in the grip of the opioid crisis that is devastating America.
Dotted around the central squares and parks are small groups of people visibly suffering from addiction. Yesterday, hundreds of residents took part in a “rally for recovery” in the town centre, gathering to highlight the plight of their friends and neighbours.
On the walls of the Hope addiction recovery clinic, a few hundred yards away, are pictures from a kayaking expedition. Karla Gallagher, who works at the clinic, cannot look at it without becoming close to tears.
“We lose these people all the time,” she said, pointing to a picture of a smiling young girl on a canoe. “We lost her. One day they’re here and then they just die.”
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