In New Hampshire’s Poorest County, One Opioid Addict Helps Another Choose Life Over Death

Josh Siegel /

BETHLEHEM, N.H.—They came to be addicted to drugs in different ways, but ended up in the same place.

Steven Blaisdell, 26, a stocky, shy son of a mailman, was first prescribed pain medicine—the opioid OxyContin—as a teenager after he flipped over his four-wheeler and broke his left femur in half.

Over the past 14 years, Blaisdell has had surgery seven times as a result of recreational injuries that are common here in “North Country,” where young men treat the outdoors—mountains, ski jumps, and hiking trails—like a playground.

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