Skip to content

Senate passes bill that could help NH fight opioid crisis

A bill that would bring much-needed resources to help the state fight the opioid crisis is headed to President Donald Trump's desk.

The legislation passed by the Senate on Wednesday prioritizes funding for hard-hit states like New Hampshire. The bipartisan bill promises more money for treatment and recovery, and it gives law enforcement more help in fighting the crisis.

“We've given law enforcement more tools to prosecute people who are bringing in fentanyl. We've given the post office and Customs and Border protection the ability to interdict fentanyl and other synthetic drugs as they come across the border,” said Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Those in the recovery community say the legislation is a step in the right direction.

“Recovery is the whole rest of their lives,” said Keith Howard, executive director of Hope for New Hampshire Recovery.

Take it from Howard.

“If you had met me 12 years ago, you would never have believed that I'd be standing here and talking this way,” he said.

Once a homeless veteran, Howard said he was stealing mouthwash from grocery stores to fuel his alcoholism. But when he went to the VA, he said he was given all the resources the government had to offer to get back on his feet.

And he wants everyone to have access to similar services to begin to turn the crisis around.

“It's a good first step. But this single piece of legislation is not going to change a single life — that's up to you and me and the community to support people in recovery,” he said.