TITLE XII
PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE

Chapter 172
NEW HAMPSHIRE SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER SERVICES SYSTEM

Section 172:1

    172:1 Definitions. –
Certain terms used in this chapter shall be construed as follows unless a different meaning is clearly apparent from the language or context.
I, II. [Repealed.]
III. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of health and human services.
IV-IX. [Repealed.]
IX-a. "Client" means a person who voluntarily seeks substance abuse treatment as provided by the office of alcohol and drug abuse prevention through its agents or substance abuse treatment contractors.
X. "Abuse of drugs" means the use of controlled drugs solely for their stimulant, depressant or hallucinogenic effect upon the higher functions of the central nervous system and not as a therapeutic agent recommended by a practitioner in the course of medical treatment or in a program of research operated under the direction of a physician, or pharmacologist, physiologist, or chemist.
XI. [Repealed.]
XII. "Amphetamine-type drugs" means amphetamine, optical isomers thereof, salts of amphetamine and its isomers, and chemical compounds which are similar thereto in physiological effect, and which show a like potential for abuse.
XIII. "Barbiturate-type drugs" means barbituric acid and its salts, derivatives thereof and chemical compounds which are similar thereto in physiological effect, and which show a like potential for abuse.
XIV. "Cannabis-type drug" means all parts of any plant of the Cannabis genus of plants, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plants, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seeds of such plants which are incapable of germination.
XV. "Cocaine-type drugs" means coca leaves, cocaine, ecgouine, and chemical compounds which are similar thereto in physiological effect, and which show a like potential for abuse.
XVI. "Controlled drugs" has the same meaning as in RSA 318-B:1, VI.
XVII. "Drug abuser" means any person who uses controlled drugs solely for their stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effect upon the higher functions of the central nervous system and not as a therapeutic agent recommended by a practitioner in the course of medical treatment or in a program of research operated under the direction of a physician or pharmacologist.
XVIII. "Drug dependence" means a state of physical addiction or psychic dependence, or both, upon a drug following use of that drug upon a repeated periodic or continuous basis except:
(a) Upon a morphine-type drug as an incident to current medical treatment of a demonstrable physical disorder, other than produced by the use of the drug itself, or
(b) Upon amphetamine-type, ataractic, barbiturate-type, hallucinogenic or other stimulant or depressant drugs as an incident to current medical treatment of a demonstrable physical or psychological disorder, or both, other than produced by the drug itself.
XIX. "Drug dependent person" means any person who has developed a state of psychic or physical dependence, or both, upon a controlled drug following administration of that drug upon a repeated periodic or continuous basis. No person shall be classified as drug dependent who is dependent:
(a) Upon a morphine-type drug as an incident to current medical treatment of a demonstrable physical disorder other than drug dependence, or
(b) Upon amphetamine-type, ataractic, barbiturate-type, hallucinogenic or other stimulant and depressant drugs as an incident to current medical treatment of a demonstrable physical or psychological disorder, or both, other than drug dependence.
XX. "Hallucinogenic drugs" are psychodysleptic drugs which assert a confusional or disorganizing effect upon mental processes or behavior and mimic acute psychotic disturbances. Exemplary of such drugs are mescaline, peyote, psilocybin and d-lysergic acid diethylamide.
XXI. "Morphine-type drugs" means morphine and chemical compounds which are similar thereto in chemical structure or which are similar thereto in physiological effect, and which show a like potential for abuse.
XXII. "Other stimulant and depressant drugs" means controlled drugs other than amphetamine-type, barbiturate-type, cannabis-type, cocaine-type, hallucinogenics and morphine-type which are found to exert a stimulant and depressant effect upon the higher functions of a central nervous system and which are found to have a potential for abuse.
XXIII. [Repealed.]
XXIV. "Certified substance abuse treatment facility" means a facility funded in part or in whole by the office of alcohol and drug abuse prevention, and certified under rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A.
XXV. "Certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor" means a person who is certified by the director of the office of alcohol and drug abuse prevention as qualified to provide alcohol abuse counseling, drug abuse counseling, combined alcohol and drug abuse counseling, counseling to families with one or more substance abusing members, and counseling to children of alcoholics.
XXVI. " Incapacitated " means that a person as a result of his or her use of drugs is in a state of intoxication, or mental confusion resulting from withdrawal, such that:
(a) He or she appears to need medical care or supervision by approved drug treatment personnel to assure his or her safety; or
(b) He or she appears to present a direct active or passive threat to the safety of others.
XXVII. " Intoxicated " means a condition in which the mental or physical functioning of an individual is substantially impaired as a result of the presence of drugs in his or her system.
XXVIII. " Protective custody " means a civil status in which an incapacitated person is detained by a peace officer for the purposes of:
(a) Assuring the safety of the individual or the public or both; and
(b) Assisting the individual to return to a functional condition.
XXIX. " Designated drug counselor " means a person approved by the commissioner to evaluate and treat drug users and drug abusers. A "designated drug counselor" may be, but is not required to be, a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor.

Source. 1947, 254:1. 1949, 313:1, par. 1. RSA 172:1. 1961, 222:8. 1969, 501:1. 1975, 255:1. 1979, 378:3, II, 7-10, 27-29. 1988, 242:1, 2, 10, I, II. 2003, 96:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 172:2

    172:2 Repealed by 1969, 501:9, eff. Sept. 1, 1969. –

Section 172:2-a

    172:2-a State Substance Use Disorder Services System Established. – The commissioner shall provide for the scientific care, treatment, and rehabilitation of individuals with substance use disorders and their families, and work towards the prevention of, and assist in the control of, alcohol and drug misuse within the state through education, treatment, community organization, and research. The department shall establish, maintain, implement, and coordinate a system of substance use disorder treatment services under this chapter. This system shall be supervised by the commissioner. With the exception of a youth drug treatment center required to be operated by a non-governmental entity at the Sununu youth services center, at the discretion of the commissioner, the department may directly operate and administer any program or facility which provides, or which may be established to provide, services to persons with substance use disorders or may enter into a contract with any individual, partnership, association, public or private, for profit or nonprofit, agency or corporation for the operation and administration of any such program or facility.

Source. 1969, 501:2. 1979, 378:11, 30, eff. July 1, 1980. 2018, 364:3, eff. July 2, 2018.

Section 172:2-b

    172:2-b Repealed by 2000, 204:4, eff. July 29, 2000. –

Section 172:2-c

    172:2-c Community Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs. – Any city, county, town, or any individual, partnership, association, public or private, for profit or nonprofit, agency or corporation may establish and administer a community substance use disorder treatment program for the purpose of providing substance use disorder treatment services to individuals, families, and organizations in the area. Every program shall, at a minimum, provide substance use disorder screening and evaluation, case management, and outpatient counseling services. The department may contract with a community substance use disorder treatment program, pursuant to RSA 172:2-a, for the operation and administration of any services that are part of the state substance use disorder treatment system. In the event that the commissioner decides to enter into a contract for the operation and administration of any services which are part of the state substance use disorder treatment system, the contract shall contain standards designed to measure the performance of the contractor in achieving positive consumer outcomes, maintaining fiscal integrity, and providing quality services. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 172:8-b, to establish criteria for designating substance use disorder treatment programs under this chapter.

Source. 2018, 364:4, eff. July 2, 2018.

Section 172:3 to 172:5

    172:3 to 172:5 Repealed by 1961, 222:6, par. VII. –

Section 172:6

    172:6 Director. – The governor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall appoint an office director in accordance with RSA 4:12. The director shall be compensated in accordance with RSA 94.

Source. 1947, 254:5. 1949, 313:1, par. 6. 1950, 5, part 19:4. RSA 172:6. 1979, 378:13, 32, eff. July 1, 1980.

Section 172:7

    172:7 Assignment of Functions. – The commissioner may assign the functions provided for in this chapter to the staff of the department as the commissioner deems appropriate.

Source. 1947, 254:6. 1949, 313:7. 1950, 5, part 19:4. RSA 172:7. 1979, 378:14, 33. 1983, 291:1, II. 1995, 310:146, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 172:8

    172:8 Duties of Commissioner. –
The commissioner shall:
I. Study the problems presented by alcohol and drug abuse, including methods and facilities available for the care, treatment, custody, employment, and rehabilitation of persons who are inebriates, alcohol abusers, drug dependent, or drug abusers.
II. Promote meetings and programs for the discussion of alcohol and drug dependency and abuse for the guidance and assistance of individuals, schools, courts, and other public and private agencies.
III. Conduct, promote and finance, in full or in part, studies, and other appropriate facilities dealing with the physical, psychological, and/or social aspects of alcohol and drug abuse.
IV. Have the authority to accept or reject for examination, diagnosis, guidance, and treatment, insofar as funds and facilities permit, any resident of the state who comes to the commissioner voluntarily for advice and treatment.
V. [Repealed.]
VI. Render biennially to the governor and council a report of his activities including recommendations for improvements therein by legislation or otherwise.
VII. Coordinate community medical resources for the emergency medical care of persons suffering acute mental or physical reaction to alcohol or drugs and of persons suffering from drug dependency.
VIII. Employ such assistants as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, in accordance with state personnel regulations, and within available appropriations and funds.
IX. Disseminate information on the subjects of alcohol and drug abuse for the guidance and assistance of individuals, schools, courts and other public and private agencies.
X. [Repealed.]

Source. 1950, 5, part 19:5. RSA 172:8. 1969, 501:3. 1973, 140:11. 1979, 378:15-17, 34-36. 1985, 218:2. 1988, 242:10, III, IV, eff. June 29, 1988.

Section 172:8-a

    172:8-a Confidentiality of Client Records. – No reports or records or the information contained therein on any client of the program or a certified alcohol or drug abuse treatment facility or any client referred by the commissioner shall be discoverable by the state in any criminal prosecution. No such reports or records shall be used for other than rehabilitation, research, statistical or medical purpose, except upon the written consent of the person examined or treated. Confidentiality shall not be construed in such manner as to prevent recommendation by the commissioner to a referring court, nor shall it deny release of information through court order pursuant to appropriate federal regulations.

Source. 1969, 501:7. 1979, 378:18, 37. 1988, 242:3, eff. June 29, 1988.

Section 172:8-b

    172:8-b Rulemaking. –
The commissioner shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to the following:
I. The acceptance, care and treatment of alcohol or drug dependent persons and alcohol or drug abusers who are clients of the program established under this chapter or a certified substance abuse treatment facility.
II. A fee schedule and collection of fees under RSA 172:14, IV.
III. Certification of substance abuse treatment facilities including, but not limited to:
(a) Program content;
(b) Qualifications of program staff; and
(c) Type of substance abuse treatment offered.
IV. Certification and recertification of alcohol and drug abuse counselors including, but not limited to:
(a) Peer review of applicants.
(b) Minimum qualifications and competency.
(c) Education and continuing education.
(d) Experience required.
(e) Required knowledge of alcohol and drug abuse counseling.
(f) Such other matters as the commissioner may deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
V. Voluntary admissions under RSA 172:13.

Source. 1988, 242:4. 1995, 310:33, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 172:8-c

    172:8-c Special Fund for Administration of Opioid Treatment Programs. – There is hereby established a special fund for administration of opioid treatment programs. The fund shall be composed of fees collected by the commissioner in accordance with RSA 172:14, II, and shall be used to carry out the provisions of this chapter including, but limited to, acting upon the application for the certification, permit, or training of opioid treatment programs. The fund shall be nonlapsing and shall be continually appropriated to the commissioner for the purposes of this chapter to support program operations for certification and administration of the department of health and human services oversight of opioid treatment programs.

Source. 2022, 272:8, eff. July 1, 2022.

Section 172:9

    172:9 Acceptance of Grants. – The commissioner is authorized to accept in the name of the state special grants or money or services from the federal or state governments or any of their agencies and may accept gifts to carry on the functions provided for in this chapter.

Source. 1947, 254:7. 1949, 313:8. 1950, 5, part 19:6. RSA 172:9. 1969, 501:4. 1979, 378:19, 38, eff. July 1, 1980.

Section 172:10

    172:10 Facilities and Personnel. – Within the limits of available appropriations and funds, the commissioner may contract for such educational, research, case work, institutional, medical facilities, personnel and services of public or private agencies as are necessary or desirable to carry out the provisions of this chapter; and may accept for training, and may assign for training, such medical, technical and clinical personnel as may be desirable.

Source. 1949, 313:9. 1950, 5, part 19:7. RSA 172:10. 1969, 501:5. 1979, 378:20, 39, eff. July 1, 1980.

Section 172:11

    172:11 Repealed by 1979, 378:21, eff. June 23, 1979. –

Section 172:12

    172:12 Designated Receiving Facilities. – If a client manifests both chemical dependency and psychiatric problems, he may be referred to a designated receiving facility of the department of health and human services on an inpatient basis. If admitted, the client shall be evaluated by a qualified mental health worker and substance abuse counselor for the purpose of recommending an appropriate treatment plan.

Source. 1947, 254:9. 1949, 313:1, par. 11. RSA 172:12. 1979, 378:22, 40. 1988, 242:5. 1995, 310:181, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 172:13

    172:13 Acceptance and Admissions. –
I. Any resident of the state, or the parent, person in loco parentis, or the legal guardian of a resident under 18 years of age or mentally incompetent, may apply to the commissioner for voluntary admission of such resident for care, treatment and guidance. The commissioner may adopt such rules regarding the admission, care and treatment of voluntary patients as he deems best. The rules of the commissioner in regard to voluntary clients shall be printed and made available to the public. No voluntary client shall, by asking the help or care of the commissioner, abridge any of his civil rights nor shall evidence of his voluntary submission to the commissioner's care and control be admissible against him in any court. All records pertaining to voluntary clients shall be kept confidential and not divulged, except that the commissioner may release such records to hospitals, institutions and physicians whenever in his discretion such information may assist in further treatment of the voluntary client.
II. When a person is indicted for any felony or is awaiting the action of the grand jury on any felony, or is charged with a misdemeanor, and question as to the drug or alcohol dependency of the person is raised by either party, any justice of the superior or circuit court having jurisdiction over the matter may, after hearing, order such person to be examined in accordance with the instructions of the commissioner to determine whether said person is drug or alcohol dependent. The commissioner shall report the results of the examination and his findings to the court in writing.
III. If a person examined pursuant to the provisions of paragraph II is found to be drug or alcohol dependent, the superior court having jurisdiction over the criminal action may, after hearing, without regard to the result of the criminal action, issue an order requiring the person to accept treatment at a certified substance abuse treatment facility when an opening becomes available. During treatment no further action shall be taken in respect to the original charges made against such a person unless otherwise ordered by the court. The court may release the person conditionally for treatment at any alcohol-drug abuse clinic, certified facility, mental health clinic or center or other appropriate sources of care.
IV. Nothing in this section shall prevent the court from placing a person convicted of a violation of RSA 318-B on probation conditioned upon the requirement that the person receive treatment at a treatment facility such as a certified substance abuse facility or other alcohol-drug abuse clinic, mental health clinic or center, or other appropriate sources of care.
V-VIII. [Repealed.]

Source. 1947, 254:10. 1949, 313:1, par. 12. 1950, 5, part 19:9. 1953, 207:1. RSA 172:13. 1967, 229:1. 1969, 501:6. 1973, 72:11. 1979, 378:23, 41. 1985, 337:13. 1988, 89:19; 242:6, 7, 10, V, eff. June 29, 1988. 2015, 249:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2016, July 1, 2016 and Oct. 1, 2017.

Section 172:14

    172:14 Costs and Income. –
I. In respect to any or all items of expense incurred by the commissioner in connection with the treatment and rehabilitation of clients of a certified substance abuse facility, the commissioner insofar as possible shall seek to be reimbursed by the client or persons liable for the support of the client. The commissioner shall determine whether a client, or any persons chargeable therewith, is able to bear the expense incidental to the treatment and rehabilitation. In a case where the client, or persons chargeable with his or her support, are able to pay only a part of such expense, the commissioner upon satisfactory evidence may direct that such part of the expense as cannot be met by the client or persons chargeable therewith be paid by the state. No client is to be charged at any rate greater than cost. The cost shall not include the costs of administration of the program.
II. As a condition of any certification, training, or permit required in connection with the treatment and rehabilitation of any of his or her clients, or clients of a certified substance abuse treatment facility, the commissioner may require payment of a fee to cover the reasonable costs of acting upon the application for the certification, permit, or training. The commissioner shall establish a fee schedule and provide for the collection of the fees.

Source. 1949, 313:13. 1950, 5, part 19:10. RSA 172:14. 1979, 378:24, 42. 1985, 218:1, 3. 1988, 242:8, 9, eff. June 29, 1988. 2018, 204:5, eff. July 1, 2018.

Section 172:15

    172:15 Treatment and Services. –
I. When a peace officer encounters a person who, in the judgment of the officer, is intoxicated as defined in RSA 172:1, XXVII, the officer may take such person into protective custody and shall take whichever of the following actions is, in the judgment of the officer, the most appropriate to ensure the safety and welfare of the public, the individual, or both:
(a) Assist the person, if the person consents, to his or her home, an approved drug treatment program, or some other appropriate location; or
(b) Release the person to some other person assuming responsibility for the intoxicated person; or
(c) Lodge the person in a local jail or county correctional facility for said person's protection, for up to 24 hours or until the keeper of said jail or facility judges the person to be no longer intoxicated.
II. When a peace officer encounters a person who, in the judgment of the officer, is incapacitated as defined in RSA 172:1, XXVI, the officer may take such person into protective custody and shall take whichever of the following actions is, in the judgment of the officer, the most appropriate to ensure the safety and welfare of the public, the individual, or both:
(a) Transport the person to an approved drug treatment program with detoxification capabilities or to the emergency room of a licensed general hospital for treatment, except that if a designated drug counselor exists in the vicinity and is available, the person may be released to the counselor at any location mutually agreeable between the officer and the counselor. The period of protective custody shall end when the person is released to a designated drug counselor, a clinical staff person of an approved drug treatment program with detoxification capabilities, or a professional medical staff person at a licensed general hospital emergency room. The person may be released to his or her own devices if at any time the officer judges the person to be no longer incapacitated. Protective custody shall in no event exceed 24 hours.
(b) Lodge the person in protective custody in a local jail or county correctional facility for up to 24 hours, or until judged by the keeper of the facility to be no longer incapacitated, or until a designated drug counselor has arranged transportation for the person to an approved drug treatment program with detoxification capabilities or to the emergency room of a licensed general hospital.
III. No person shall be lodged in a local jail or county correctional facility under paragraph II unless the person in charge of the facility, immediately upon lodging said person in protective custody, contacts a designated drug counselor, a clinical staff person of an approved drug treatment program with detoxification capabilities or a professional medical staff person at a licensed general hospital emergency room to determine whether said person is indeed incapacitated. If, and only if none of the foregoing is available, such a medical or clinical determination shall be made by a registered nurse or registered emergency medical technician on the staff of the detention facility.
IV. No local jail or county correctional facility shall refuse to admit an intoxicated or incapacitated person in protective custody whose admission is requested by a peace officer, in compliance with the conditions of this section.
V. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, whenever a person under 18 years of age who is judged by a peace officer to be intoxicated or incapacitated and who has not been charged with a crime is taken into protective custody, the person's parent or guardian shall be immediately notified and such person may be held at a police station or a local jail or a county correctional facility in a room or ward separate from any adult or any person charged with juvenile delinquency until the arrival of his or her parent or guardian. If such person has no parent or guardian in the area, arrangements shall be made to house him or her according to the provisions of RSA 169-D:17.
VI. If an incapacitated person in protective custody is lodged in a local jail or county correctional facility his or her family or next of kin shall be notified as promptly as possible. If the person requests that there be no notification, the person's request shall be respected.
VII. A taking into protective custody under this section is not an arrest, however nothing in this section shall be construed so as to prevent an officer or jailer from obtaining proper identification from a person taken into protective custody or from conducting a search of such person to reduce the likelihood of injury to the officer or jailer, the person taken into protective custody, or others. No unnecessary or unreasonable force or means of restraint may be used in detaining any person taken into protective custody.
VIII. Peace officers or persons responsible for supervision in a local jail or designated drug counselors who act under the authority of this section are acting in the course of their official duty and are not criminally or civilly liable therefor, unless for gross negligence or willful or wanton injury.

Source. 2003, 96:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.