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Shaheen Applauds New Strategy and Funding from White House to Combat Heroin

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today applauded the announcement of a new Heroin Response Strategy, which included $2.5 million of funding, by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The strategy will create a public health and safety network across 15 states, including New Hampshire, that will increase intelligence sharing; develop a training and education curriculum; and improve resources to treat overdoses.

“Heroin and opioid abuse is the most urgent public health challenge facing New Hampshire,” said Shaheen. “One thing is abundantly clear: there is no silver bullet solution. Stemming the tide requires investments in prevention, treatment and recovery, and broad cooperation at the federal, state and local levels. This new strategy reflects the complexity and national scope of the heroin crisis. The Heroin Response Strategy announced today will increase coordination between local law enforcement and public health workers in New Hampshire with their counterparts across the country. By equipping public safety officials, public health officials and communities with the most up-to-date and relevant information to tackle the heroin crisis, we can better keep pace with this evolving threat to our state’s health and well-being.”

The Heroin Response Strategy announced by the White House Drug Policy Office is part of a larger package of $13.4 million in funding for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), with $5 million focused specifically on combatting heroin abuse. The Heroin Response Strategy will be a partnership between 5 HIDTAs – New England (which includes New Hampshire), Appalachia, Philadelphia/Camden, New York/New Jersey, and Washington/Baltimore. Under the Strategy, these 5 Areas will each have 2 Regional Coordinators, one focused on public safety, and another on public health. More information on the new Heroin Response Strategy is available from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy here.

Senator Shaheen led the effort to designate Rockingham County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which has provided the County with additional resources to fight heroin trafficking and other illegal drugs, and to improve the coordination and development of drug control efforts among local, state and federal officials.

Earlier this month, Senator Shaheen and Governor Maggie Hassan called for bipartisan cooperation at the federal, state and local levels to tackle the crisis of heroin and opioid abuse in New Hampshire. They focused on the need to responsibly fund prevention and treatment programs in the federal and state budgets. Their call comes as Republicans in Washington have proposed drastic cuts to programs that would help address the heroin and opioid abuse crisis.