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Shaheen Applauds New Federal Strategy on Overdose Prevention Announced by Biden Administration

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today released the following statement after Secretary Becerra rolled out the new federal Overdose Prevention Strategy at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The plan increases access to the full continuum of integrated care and services for individuals who use substances that cause overdoses, as well as their families. The plan targets primary prevention, harm reduction, evidence-based treatment and recovery support, particularly for underserved populations. The strategy also focuses on multiple substances that lead to overdose, including opioids and stimulants, which has been an ongoing priority for the Senator.  

“New Hampshire has been on the frontlines of the substance use crisis for years, with too many Granite Staters falling prey to addiction and families torn apart. Every life lost under the weight of this devastating epidemic was a child, parent or loved one. That’s why combating the substance use disorder crisis in New Hampshire has been a top priority of mine in the Senate,” said Shaheen. “I’m pleased to see the Biden administration respond to this crisis with the urgency it demands so we can address the root causes of substance misuse and expand access to quality care and treatment. This federal strategy will help ensure everyone affected – from patients suffering to families seeking support to providers scrambling to obtain resources for treatment – has the support they need so we can finally turn the tide on this crisis. I’m committed to working with the administration to support our communities and protect the next generation from succumbing to this crisis.”

Shaheen has spearheaded crucial legislation and funding to stem the substance use disorder epidemic, including through Shaheen’s leadership on the pivotal Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, which oversees funding for the Department of Justice and its related anti-opioid and methamphetamine programs. In government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2022 funding legislation announced by the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen helped secured $615 million to help communities and first responders respond to substance crises, including opioid addiction and drug trafficking. Shaheen also supported the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 3.0 to help combat the opioid epidemic.

In government funding legislation signed into law in 2020, Shaheen again included a key provision from the 2019 version of her legislation - Turn the Tide Act, which she has reintroduced this year - to provide flexibility for treatment providers to use State Opioid Response (SOR) grant dollars to help patients suffering from meth and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorders. Shaheen wrote the provision in response to discussions with New Hampshire treatment providers. The FY 2021 funding legislation also provided $1.5 billion in SOR grant funding, as well as the continuing of a 15 percent set-aside that Shaheen  fought to secure in 2018 for hard-hit states like New Hampshire. These combined efforts led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire. Over the past four years, New Hampshire has received approximately $92 million from these grants Shaheen helped secure to combat the opioid epidemic in the state, with the hardest-hit state set-aside responsible for the majority of those funds. These combined efforts led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire.