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Combatting the Substance Use Disorder Crisis 

Senator Shaheen, as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice, has led efforts in the Senate to address the substance use disorder epidemic. New Hampshire has been on the frontlines of this crisis, with the state reporting over 400 overdose deaths in 2022 – marking the worst year for overdose deaths since 2017. 

Cracking Down on Traffickers

Shaheen has utilized her roles on the Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees to spearhead congressional efforts to disrupt the international narcotics trafficking networks that funnel drugs into U.S. communities. In late 2022, Shaheen worked with U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) on bipartisan legislation – the Fighting Emerging Narcotics through Additional Nations to Yield Lasting (FENTANYL) Results Act – to increase global cooperation in the fight against synthetic drug trafficking. The FENTANYL Results Act was ultimately signed into law as part of the FY 2023 NDAA. In early 2023, Shaheen urged Biden administration officials during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to take immediate action to counter illicit fentanyl trafficking.  

Holding Private Industry Accountable 

Fentanyl is fueling the addiction crisis, and many young people across New Hampshire and the nation are falling victim by acquiring drugs through social media. Senator Shaheen, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, along with Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced bipartisan legislation in late 2022, the Cooper Davis Act, to hold social media companies accountable for reporting to law enforcement all illicit fentanyl,methamphetamine and counterfeit substance activity occurring on their platforms. The bill would require social media companies and other communication service providers to take on a more active role in working with federal agencies to combat the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit and controlled substances occurring on their platforms. During the February 2023 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on countering fentanyl trafficking, Shaheen questioned administration officials on what can be done to hold social media platforms accountable for enabling fentanyl sales that target youth and fuel this crisis. She has also worked to tackle the youth vaping crisis by reintroducing the No Tax Subsidies for E-Cigarette and Tobacco Ads Act in early 2023, which would crack down on e-cigarette companies and close a tax loophole that allows manufacturers to claim federal tax deductions for the cost of advertising for e-cigarettes and tobacco products. 

Investing in Prevention, Treatment and Recovery 

Shaheen has routinely fought to secure federal funding for investing in prevention, treatment and recovery for victims of the substance use disorder crisis. The FY 2023 funding legislation that was signed into law provided $1.75 billion in State Opioid Response (SOR) grant funding, as well as the continuation of a 15 percent set-aside that Shaheen fought to secure in 2018 for hard-hit states like New Hampshire. The FY 2023 omnibus package also included Shaheen legislation officially authorizing the SOR grant program for five years, including numerous flexibilities for the treatment of cocaine and methamphetamine use, as well Shaheen-led legislation removing barriers to non-opioid pain management for Medicare beneficiaries. In the FY 2022 funding legislation, Shaheen included a key provision from the 2019 version of her legislation - the Turn the Tide Act - to provide flexibility for treatment providers to use SOR grant dollars to help patients suffering from meth and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorders.  In 2021 Shaheen introduced the bipartisan Drug-Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act. Shaheen wrote the provision in response to discussions with New Hampshire treatment providers. In the FY 2023 government funding legislation, Shaheen also secured $608 million to help communities and first responders respond to substance use crises, including opioid addiction and drug trafficking. This also includes $445 million for Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) grants, which support programs like drug, mental health and veteran treatment courts as well as substance use disorder treatment programs administered by state and local correctional well as substance use disorder treatment programs administered by state and local correctional facilities.