John Burns will receive our 2015 Advocacy in Action Award

Congratulations to John Burns for being selected as our Advocacy in Action Award Winner!


“The area I've focused on the hardest has been more of a harm reduction strategy advocating for the passage of HB270 and HB271 for public access to Narcan and the Good Samaritan law for immunity from prosecution for possession in the event of calling 911 in an overdose,” John said.

John Burns is being recognized for tireless advocacy to pass HB 271 that expanded access to the life-saving drug Naloxone. He worked closely with bill sponsor Representative Amanda Boldin to provide compelling testimony and information about the efficacy of the overdose reversal drug. He also helped push phone calls to elected officials to help educate them on the topic and answered questions from lawmakers and members of the public. Since the bill’s passage in June, he has taken up the most important piece of this legislation—making sure that people know the law has changed.

“It's my belief that these give people another chance, save lives, and in turn increases potential for accessing treatment and recovery resources," Burns said. "I've also followed up on outreach with these since they passed by rolling out a Narcan training and prescription program with Families Hoping and Coping to help expedite access to caregivers and we've been able to train and provide close to 40 prescriptions.”

He’s currently holding free trainings and speaking to the media about how to administer Naloxone. John also advocated for the Good Samaritan bill to provide immunity for those who call 911 in the event of a drug overdose and called for a budget that contains greater support for treatment, prevention and recovery. John founded the group Families Hoping and Coping which has been working with FASTER, Families Sharing Without Shame, HOPE Farmington, and others to create a network of parents who are talking about the impact substance use has on families and changing the way we address addiction in the Granite State. John was involved in preliminary meetings with New Futures to expand a parent support network and has provided insight to others looking to start their own groups. His group has meetings in Rochester and Dover every week.  Families Hoping and Coping was a significant presence at the #300 Lost rally in April.

About the award…

This award recognizes extraordinary advocacy efforts of an individual to reduce and prevent alcohol and other drug problems in New Hampshire.