At Safe Harbor Recovery Center, Shaheen Calls for Additional Resources to Combat the Opioid Crisis

August 10, 2016

(Portsmouth, NH) – This morning in Portsmouth, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) visited Safe Harbor Recovery Center to discuss its support for those overcoming substance use disorders on the Seacoast. Safe Harbor Recovery Center offers a community approach to addiction treatment through peer support programs, sober activities, crisis intervention, as well as support for family and friends of those in recovery. The program, which opened in May, also trains recovery coaches who help people with the struggles of recovering from addiction. During a discussion with the program’s staff and volunteers, Shaheen highlighted the importance of collaboration at the local and state level to addressing the opioid addiction crisis and renewed her commitment to fighting for additional resources for those on the frontlines of the epidemic.

“As we know all too well, the opioid addiction crisis continues to take a devastating toll on communities throughout our state,” said Shaheen. “Granite Staters struggling with addiction desperately need support and the important work of Safe Harbor Recovery Center cannot be understated. Unfortunately, in New Hampshire only a small fraction of those seeking treatment for addiction are able to get the help they need. That’s is why I’ll continue to push for Congress to pass my emergency supplemental funding bill to get additional resources to those on the frontlines of the opioid addiction epidemic.”

Kayleigh Almon, a volunteer at Safe Harbor said, “Being young in recovery, it’s really important to know what’s available in the community for people to have fun and build a network of sober friends. I thought my life was over at age 20 when I made the choice to get sober, and had no idea what to do with my time. Safe Harbor offers day to day activities that provide a safe, sober, and fun community of people helping each other to rebuild self-esteem and confidence.”

Safe Harbor is a peer recovery community center which provides multiple pathways to recovery as well as resources that break down obstacles for people achieving long-term successful recovery like employment, housing, and healthy lifestyle.

John Burns, Center Director at Safe Harbor, commented, “It’s important people understand that recovery is ongoing and having supports to maintain it are a critical piece to this crisis. Treatment is triage and can start that process, but for some people that may not need treatment or those coming out of treatment there needs to be ongoing recovery supports and that’s the focus of Safe Harbor. 

“Likewise, supporting families in the recovery support process is also important as the recovery process doesn’t only impact the individual, but the entire family.”

Last month, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), co-sponsored by Senator Shaheen, which authorizes support for treatment providers and law enforcement’s efforts to combat drug trafficking, though it does not provide funding for these programs. Shaheen has continued to lead the effort in Congress to pass emergency supplemental funding for those on the frontlines of the opioid addiction crisis. Her legislation would provide supplemental appropriations totaling $600 million to programs at the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services that focus on treatment and recovery, as well as state and local law enforcement initiatives.