Shaheen Announces Emergency Funding Bill to Address Opioid and Heroin Abuse Epidemic

November 23, 2015

**Supplemental appropriations bill would provide $600 million for prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery**

**Also, in a letter to HHS, Shaheen requests that agency uses all available authority to address this “public health emergency”**

(Manchester, NH) – Today, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced emergency funding legislation to address the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic that is devastating communities in New Hampshire and across the country. Senator Shaheen’s legislation would provide supplemental appropriations totaling $600 million to programs at the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.

“The opioid crisis is spiraling out of control,” said Shaheen. “This should be an all-hands-on-deck moment, not just for New Hampshire, but for our country. We are losing lives daily and our first responders, healthcare providers and criminal justice system are overwhelmed. To stem the tide, we urgently need additional funding for prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, and this legislation would provide resources to those on the frontlines.” 

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

In addition to her legislation, Senator Shaheen sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell to inform her agency of the emergency appropriations bill and to request that HHS use every means at their disposal to address this crisis:

I hope that you will support my efforts with any authority you have to address this public health emergency, and in my efforts to provide additional and immediate resources to our partners working diligently on the front lines of this 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.