Shaheen Applauds Approval of NH Application for Federal Opioid Response Grants

September 19, 2018

** Shaheen Helped Negotiate the Bipartisan Budget Agreement that Led to the Opioid Response Funding for New Hampshire**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released the following statement in response to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ application being accepted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for opioid response funding that the New Hampshire delegation helped secure. As a member of the Common Sense Caucus, Senator Shaheen helped negotiate for an additional $6 billion in opioid response resources in the budget agreement reached in February, as well as a commitment to set aside a portion of that funding to states hardest hit by the opioid crisis. Shaheen and the New Hampshire delegation also led efforts to change the SAMHSA funding formula that previously put states like New Hampshire with small populations and high mortality rates from opioid overdoses, at a disadvantage. These successful efforts led to a substantial increase in funding available to New Hampshire for opioid response efforts, as the state will receive $22.9 million for each of the two years. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded New Hampshire’s Division of Public Health Services $3.6 million to support efforts to prevent opioid-related overdoses, and the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) awarded New Hampshire $2.8 million to provide access points throughout the state.

“This substantial increase in funding is the product of a long-term effort in Congress to increase federal support for communities hardest hit by the opioid epidemic,” said Shaheen. “Too often, Granite Staters who are struggling with substance use disorders can’t get access to the treatment they desperately need. This investment will bolster our state’s response to the opioid epidemic by helping to provide more resources which will save lives. I will continue to work across the aisle to increase federal support to turn the tide of this epidemic in New Hampshire. We cannot let up as long as Granite Staters are suffering without access to the care they desperately need.”

Adhering to a request from the New Hampshire congressional delegation, SAMHSA agreed to change its funding formula and also limit the number of states eligible for the set-aside funds to a targeted list of states to ensure hardest-hit states like New Hampshire get their fair share of funding. Together, the funding increase in the government spending bill that was signed into law in March and these subsequent changes to allocate additional resources to states with exceptionally high overdose death rates, led to the substantial increase in resources for New Hampshire that was announced by Senator Shaheen in June.

The total $45.8 million announced by SAMSHA includes the $22.9 million that Shaheen helped negotiate earlier this year, as well as the $22.9 million that’s included in Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations legislation. Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, has led efforts in Congress to respond to the opioid crisis. 

Yesterday, the Senate passed the funding legislation for the Departments of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and other agencies for fiscal year (FY) 2019, which includes an extension of equivalent funding for opioid response efforts secured in the omnibus funding bill for FY 2018. The Labor-HHS funding bill provides $3.8 billion in funding, an increase of $206 million above the FY 2018 funding level. This includes $1.5 billion for State Opioid Response Grants administered by SAMHSA. The legislation also ensures that New Hampshire will receive $22.9 million in State Opioid Response Grants for FY 2019.