Review shows timeline of troubles at youth treatment center

December 16, 2019 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — An investigation into New Hampshire’s only youth substance use treatment center found that half of its 10 patients were hospitalized for potential overdoses during a tumultuous two-day period before it was shut down earlier this month.

The Department of Health and Human Services released a five-page report Monday describing the events that led to the decision to end the state’s contract with Granite Pathways, which had been operating the 36-bed facility in Manchester for just over a year.

According to accounts from staff, youth and police, a resident admitted smuggling drugs into the center on Nov. 24 after a weekend home visit. That evening, two other residents were taken to the hospital after a staff member noticed they were impaired after going into a bathroom at an offsite Narcotics Anonymous meeting. They returned to the center, but by the next day, all three plus another resident were taken to the hospital for possible overdoses after staff reported they were impaired and acting belligerently.

At the same time, an argument broke out among other youths, and staff called police to arrest one of them who assaulted two others. As ambulances arrived for the other four residents, the report said the resident being arrested was left alone in a conference room and took multiple doses of prescription medication in a suspected suicide attempt.

Staff members were not aware that the resident’s personal belongings were in the room, the report states.

Officials at Granite Pathways had no immediate comment Monday because they were still reviewing the report. In the past, officials have said that the organization’s highest and first concern is always for residents’ safety and well-being. State officials have said it is clear the organization was not equipped to serve its residents.

On Nov. 27, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and the health department announced the state was canceling its contract with Granite Pathways effective Dec. 27. Over the next several days, four of the five remaining residents were transferred to other programs, and the last resident was hospitalized after ingesting a bottle of hand sanitizer.