Shaheen at Senate Hearing Urges Action to Get More Federal Resources to Fight Heroin Epidemic

January 27, 2016

 **Highlighted her emergency funding bill to support public health and law enforcement**

**Also urged action on her legislation to address the growing backlog of heroin and fentanyl cases at New Hampshire’s state forensics lab** 

WATCH SENATOR SHAHEEN’S FULL TESTIMONY HERE

(Washington, DC)— Today at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the national heroin and opioid epidemic, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) delivered testimony urging immediate action by Congress to provide additional resources to law enforcement and public health officials. Specifically, she highlighted her legislation that would provide $600 million in emergency funding and a separate bill that would address the backlog of heroin and fentanyl test cases at State Labs that’s severely delaying law enforcement efforts in New Hampshire and across the country.

“Public health and law enforcement agencies at all levels lack the resources to mount an effective response to the heroin and opioid epidemic,” said Shaheen in her testimony. Nationwide in 2013, nearly nine out of 10 people needing drug treatment did not receive it. This is tragic, and it is unacceptable. We need to mobilize a national response.”

During the hearing, Shaheen pointed out that in 2014, Congress passed nearly $5.4 billion in emergency funding to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  In 2009, Congress passed nearly $2 billion in emergency funding to fight the H1N1, or “Swine Flu”, epidemic. Senator Shaheen’s Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act has been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations and 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.