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As Senate Takes Up Legislation to Tackle Heroin Crisis, Senate Democrats Call for Passage of Shaheen’s Emergency Supplemental Funding Bill

(February 11, 2016 – Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) speaks about the need to pass her emergency supplemental funding bill)

Senator Shaheen’s full remarks can be viewed here.

(Washington, DC) – Today, as the Senate begins to consider legislation to address the opioid addiction crisis gripping the country, a group of Senators gathered on Capitol Hill to call for the passage of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)’s emergency supplemental funding bill for first responders and treatment providers. Shaheen’s emergency funding legislation would give additional resources to those on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic by providing supplemental appropriations totaling $600 million to programs at the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services. Shaheen was joined by Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Ed Markey (D-MA).

The call comes on the same say that the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), co-sponsored by Shaheen, which would authorize a series of new initiatives to help stem the tide of the heroin and opioid crisis.

Senator Shaheen’s legislation would provide additional emergency funding to the following federal programs:

Department of Justice

  • Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program - $200 million to fund state and local law enforcement initiatives, including prosecution and drug court programs, treatment and enforcement efforts, and prevention and education.
  • COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force Grant - $10 million to assist state and local law enforcement with high per capita levels of opioid and heroin use, targeting resources to support police operations on the ground. Funds would be used to conduct drug enforcement initiatives and investigations. 

Department of Health and Human Services

  • Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant- $225 million for states to fund programs related to prevention, treatment, recovery support and other services.  For many states, this program is the primary source of federal dollars to address the misuse of drugs.
  • Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention for States- $50 million to support the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s work on prescription drug monitoring programs, community health system interventions, and rapid response projects.
  • Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund- $40 million for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to better coordinate and respond to the national heroin and opioid drug abuse crisis.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse- $35 million for targeted research on drug addiction in order to improve prevention and treatment methods. 
  • Strategic Prevention Framework- Partnership for Success- $20 million to address prescription drug misuse and abuse among 12 to 25 year olds.
  • Medication Assisted Treatment for Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction - $10 million to improve access in high-risk communities to medication-assisted treatment services for heroin and prescription opioids.
  • Safe Schools/Healthy Students- $5 million to support school and community partnerships in efforts to create safe, drug-free environments for learning, and to promote the behavioral health of children.
  • Recovery Community Services Program- $5 million to develop organized statewide networks for peer-to-peer recovery support programs. 

From 2002 to 2013, opioid-related deaths have quadrupled nationally according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In New Hampshire in 2014, there was a 76 percent increase in opioid-deaths. In most states, more people are now dying of fatal overdoses than vehicle-related deaths.