Shaheen Applauds First Lady’s Policy Priority to Help Children Affected by the Opioid Crisis & Encourages Her to Visit NH

May 07, 2018

A recent UNH study reports that 8.5% of babies born in Berlin, NH are in active withdrawal from opioids

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to First Lady Melania Trump’s inclusion of support for children impacted by the opioid crisis in her list of policy priorities, which were unveiled earlier today:

“I appreciate the First Lady’s attention to the opioid crisis and I welcome her efforts to assist children who are impacted,” said Shaheen. “I also encourage the First Lady to visit New Hampshire and meet with families who have been impacted by this crisis, as well as healthcare providers and responders who are providing lifesaving assistance, specifically those who are addressing neonatal abstinence syndrome. Granite Staters on the frontlines continue to provide invaluable firsthand expertise and solutions to address this crisis, not only in New Hampshire, but across the country. Combating this crisis requires a federal response that is equal to the challenge and I’m glad to see Mrs. Trump step forward and make this a top policy priority. I stand ready to work with her so we can deliver much-needed support to New Hampshire and other hardest-hit states.”

According to a recent University of New Hampshire study and reported by WMUR, in 2015, 8.5 percent of babies born in Berlin, New Hampshire were in active withdrawal from opioids – the state average is 2.4 percent.

Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee, has led efforts in Congress to respond to the opioid crisis. As a result of her advocacy on the bipartisan Common Sense Caucus and her engagement during the writing of the funding bill that was recently signed into law, Senator Shaheen helped secure the $3.3 billion in additional resources for opioid response efforts. Children and young adults have been strongly impacted by the harmful effect of opioids in their communities and opioid addiction within their families.  To try to reach children through prevention and treatment programs as well as helping the growing number of children in foster care due to this epidemic, Senator Shaheen helped secure additional Department of Justice grant funding to help children, youth and families affected by the opioid epidemic, including an increase of $8 million in delinquency prevention, $14 million in youth mentoring and $3 million in Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in the funding bill. Senator Shaheen has also introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Hassan that would change how federal agencies determine State Targeted Response Opioid Crisis Grant funding to prioritize states with the highest mortality rates.