Amid Rising Drug Overdose Rates, Shaheen Addresses NH Substance Use Disorder Prevention Efforts
Shaheen and roundtable participants at Makin’ It Happen in Manchester today discuss substance use disorder prevention.
(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) participated in a discussion with New Hampshire drug and alcohol prevention advocates this morning amid a significant increase in overdose deaths across New Hampshire’s two largest cities. The roundtable discussion was hosted by Makin’ It Happen, a Manchester organization committed to promoting the overall well-being of youth and families with a focus on alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention efforts, as well as mental health wellness. Shaheen was joined by representatives from several Drug Free Community grant recipient coalitions, as well as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and American Medical Response.
“The substance use disorder crisis that seized our communities years ago is different than what we’re seeing today. As this epidemic has evolved, so must our response. That’s precisely why the Drug Free Community program, through the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is such an important tool to prevention coalitions, which are on the front lines. The prevalence of fentanyl, combined with other drug use and the exacerbating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has only heightened the substance use disorder crisis in our state. We must inform our response to be sure we are tackling it from all sides – access to treatment for those who are struggling, investments in prevention and bolstered resources to prioritize interdiction to stop illicit drugs from seeping into our communities,” said Shaheen. “I appreciate the insight from all participants today who brought important perspectives that will help us address the full scope of this epidemic, and I look forward to sharing their experiences with lawmakers in Washington.”
As the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Senator Shaheen has fought to deliver resources to combat the substance use disorder crisis in New Hampshire. The Fiscal Year 2022 government funding legislation included $572.5 million to help communities and first responders respond to substance use crises, including opioid misuse and drug trafficking. This funding builds on Shaheen’s extensive efforts to provide flexibility for treatment providers to use State Opioid Response (SOR) grant dollars to help patients suffering from meth and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorders. Shaheen’s efforts have led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire. In addition, last year Senator Shaheen helped introduce the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery (CARA) Act 3.0 to help combat the opioid epidemic by increasing the funding authorization levels for these programs. Shaheen has also secured funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) anti-heroin task force and anti-methamphetamine task force programs.