As Senate Begins Consideration on FY23 Government Funding Legislation, Shaheen Spotlights Priorities to Address Substance Use Disorder Crisis
**A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen worked to attach numerous pieces of legislation to the government funding bill, including her efforts to address the substance use disorder crisis.**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the final government funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2023 released by Senate and House appropriators includes an authorization package with numerous Shaheen-led priorities to address critical issues impacting New Hampshire and the nation, including the substance use disorder crisis. Shaheen included several bills to address the substance use disorder crisis, including authorizing and expanding the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program, ensuring adequate Medicare coverage of non-opioid pain treatments and increasing access to buprenorphine – a form of medication for opioid use disorders.
“I’m thrilled to share I was able to include a number of key priorities that respond directly to issues we’re facing in New Hampshire and nationwide, including the substance use disorder crisis. I worked to secure urgently needed investments in our strategy to turn the tide of this public health emergency, which worsened during the pandemic. Authorizing and expanding the State Opioid Response grant program to make it applicable for other dependencies in addition to opioids is fundamental to that effort, as we’ve seen this crisis evolve to include the abuse of other substances. In addition, the funding bill also increases access to non-opioid pain treatment, as well as medication for those recovering from opioid use disorders. These are important steps in our comprehensive approach to end this epidemic once and for all,” said Shaheen.
The FY23 government funding legislation was negotiated by Senate and House appropriators – it will go before both chambers of Congress this week before it’s sent to the President to be signed into law by December 23, 2022.
Specifically, the government funding legislation includes the following Shaheen-led priorities to confront the substance use disorder crisis:
- Addressing Barriers to Non-Opioid Pain Management: The Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act, led by Senators Shaheen, Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), was added to the government funding bill, which aims to help address barriers to non-opioid pain management for those enrolled in Medicare and will help stem the opioid epidemic across the nation. More information on the bill can be found here.
- Reforming Opioid Use Disorder Medication Holding Period for Providers: The funding bill also includes Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Capito that increases the amount of time a physician can hold long-acting injectable (LAI) buprenorphine, a form of medication for opioid use disorders, from specialty pharmacies. The current 14-day window is a barrier to health care providers utilizing LAI buprenorphine due to the logistical hurdles associated with specialty pharmacy delivery. This legislation reforms the law by allowing health care providers to hold the drug in their facility for up to 45 days. It helps to facilitate continuity of care and treatment for Americans with opioid use disorders by reducing an unnecessary barrier to this innovative treatment method. More information on the bill can be found here.
- Giving Local Communities Tools to Combat the Substance Use Disorder Epidemic: Shaheen secured authorization of the State Opioid Response grant program, and specifically worked to include a language to ensure states do not face significant cliffs between funding cycles. Shaheen’s efforts have led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire. The FY2023 government funding bill authorizes $1.75 billion in SOR grant funding for the next five years, which is $175 million more than previous funding levels. More information on the bill can be found here.