BREAKING: Shaheen-Authored Provision That Gives Treatment Providers Flexibility to Treat Meth, Cocaine Use Included in Government Funding Legislation

December 16, 2019

**Overdose Deaths in NH Related to Methamphetamine & other Substances Have Risen Sharply in 2019** 

**This Flexibility is a Key Component in Shaheen’s Turn the Tide Act, and Originated From Discussions with New Hampshire Treatment Providers**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement announcing that government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2020 released by Senate and House leaders today will include a key Shaheen-authored provision that provides flexibility for treatment providers to be able to use opioid response grant dollars to help patients suffering from meth and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorder. Currently, federal law only allows State Opioid Response (SOR) grants to be used by providers to treat patients who suffer from opioid-related substance use disorders. The provision is based on a key component of Shaheen’s Turn the Tide Act, which she introduced in July, and originated from Senator Shaheen’s discussions with New Hampshire treatment providers. In October, Shaheen called on Senate Appropriations Committee leadership to provide this flexibility in the government funding legislation for FY2020.

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to combat the opioid epidemic and helped negotiate a bipartisan agreement in 2018 that resulted in a large national increase in opioid treatment funding through the SOR grant program over two years. Shaheen also fought to include a funding set-aside for states with the highest mortality rates. These efforts led to a 1000% increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire.

“The substance use disorder epidemic we’re facing today isn’t the same one we were fighting a few years ago, so as this crisis evolves so should our response,” said Shaheen. “By empowering treatment providers with the ability to use these federal grants for a broader range of substance misuse, we can help ensure more Granite Staters get the help they desperately need. It’s so heartbreaking to see the devastation to families and communities from this crisis and we need to make sure treatment providers have the tools they need to save lives. This provision was the product of conversations with Granite Staters on the frontlines of this crisis. I’ll continue to work closely with state and local partners to ensure they have the resources they need to combat the full scope of this epidemic.”

In addition to the flexibility provision, the bill also funds the SOR grant program at $1.5 billion for the year and maintains the 15 percent set-aside for hardest-hit states that Shaheen secured in government funding legislation in each of the past two years. Other important priorities to combat the opioid crisis and deliver meaningful resources to New Hampshire include:

  • $476 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance and Prevention program, which provides necessary data on fatal and nonfatal opioid overdoses, as well as potential risk factors;
  • $41.68 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is a $2.6 billion increase over last year’s funding level, and includes $818 million for research into non-addictive alternatives to opioids, addiction treatment and pain treatment;
  • $518 million in Department of Justice (DOJ) grant programs to help communities respond to substance abuse including opioids, which is an increase of $42 million from FY19 levels. Shaheen also successfully added language to the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) at the DOJ to expand grant categories for new areas to include prevention and education programs for youth, law enforcement assisted diversion, and response teams to assist children dealing with the aftermath of opioid addiction;
  • $1.63 billion for community health centers (CHC), which is funding in addition to the mandatory funding CHCs receive each year;
  • $25 million through the SUPPORT Act for housing assistance for those struggling with substance use disorders, of which New Hampshire will receive up to $1.17 million; and
  • $90 million for the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act programs. These programs distribute federal grants to state agencies that deal with child abuse and neglect. This is an important priority in New Hampshire, which faces a backlog of cases partially due to the impact of the opioid epidemic on families.