In York, Shaheen Welcomes Senator King's Support for Her Emergency Heroin Response Bill

January 15, 2016

**Calls King “a respected independent voice in the Senate who will help build momentum”**

**In urging Congressional action, Shaheen points to passage of emergency funding to respond to Ebola and Swine Flu epidemics** 

(Manchester, NH)—At a press conference at the York Hospital in York, Maine, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) welcomed Senator Angus King’s (I-ME) support for her emergency funding bill that would help combat the heroin and opioid epidemic that is plaguing communities across Maine and New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen’s legislation provides a total of $600 million in emergency funding to programs at the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services aimed at curbing the drug crisis. Both Senators called on Congress to swiftly take up and pass the legislation.

“Congress needs to treat the heroin epidemic like the national public health emergency that it is,” said Shaheen.  “There are far too many families in New Hampshire, Maine and across the country that have lost a loved one to heroin and opioids. I’m very grateful to have Senator King as a partner in this effort to get urgently needed resources to the frontlines. Our first responders and treatment providers are often overwhelmed and need much more support from the federal government to help them stem the tide of this crisis. Congress provided emergency funding for Ebola and Swine Flu and it needs to do the same for the heroin epidemic. Senator King is a respected independent voice in the Senate who will help build momentum for this legislation.”

“The opioid and heroin epidemic is a crisis that demands our immediate attention,” Senator King said. “People in Maine and around the country are losing their lives, communities are being torn apart, and first responders and healthcare providers are being pushed to the brink. Congress must act quickly and in a comprehensive way to provide those on the frontlines with the additional tools and resources critical to curbing this deadly problem. I commend Senator Shaheen for spearheading this effort and look forward to working with her, our colleagues in Congress, and the President to advance this critical legislation.”

In 2014, Congress passed nearly $5.4 billion in emergency funding to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  In 2009, Congress passed nearly $2 billion in emergency funding to fight the H1N1, or “Swine Flu”, epidemic. 

Senator Shaheen’s legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations and 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.