SHAHEEN: Bipartisan Budget Agreement is an Opportunity to Continue Prioritizing Resources to Battle the Substance Use Disorder Epidemic

July 23, 2019

**Shaheen’s call follows her recently introduced legislation to invest $63 billion over ten years to deliver flexible treatment funding, establish prevention programs and address workforce challenges in the treatment field**

(Washington, DC)—Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, called for additional funding that would be provided through the two-year budget agreement reached by Congressional leaders and the White House to go towards responding to the national substance use disorder epidemic. Last week, Shaheen introduced the Turn the Tide Act which provides $63 billion in funding over ten years to deliver flexible treatment funding to providers, establish proven prevention programs and address the substantial workforce challenges in the treatment field. This legislation continues Shaheen’s leadership in Congress to provide New Hampshire resources to battle this crisis.

“I’m relieved that a bipartisan budget agreement was reached which will hopefully help avoid government shutdown brinkmanship going forward,” said Shaheen. “It also gets rid of the threat of a catastrophic default on our nation’s debt and dangerous automatic cuts to our military and domestic programs, including those that help deliver health care across the country. The American people want to see Congress working together to resolve differences and this is an example of the cooperation we need to see in many other challenges that are top of mind for the American people. This agreement also makes additional resources available to programs here at home which could be used by Congress to once again work on a bipartisan basis to deliver help to the frontlines of the substance use disorder epidemic. Hundreds of overdose deaths a year in New Hampshire cannot become the norm – we have to continue battling this epidemic and the federal government can be doing much more to help hard-hit states like New Hampshire. The reality is our state still doesn’t have the capacity and resources to get treatment to everyone who needs it. That’s why I introduced the Turn the Tide Act to provide long-term funding for treatment and other means to address this crisis. President Trump and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle agree on the need to continue fighting this epidemic. I hope they will join me in making this a priority during the appropriations process.”  

More than 70,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2017 and according to one Trump administration estimate, it costs the economy approximately $500 billion per year.

Senator Shaheen helped negotiate the bipartisan agreement in 2018 that outlined the two years of opioid response spending – totaling $6 billion to respond to the opioid crisis. This included the set-aside funding for states with the highest mortality rates, like New Hampshire. This critical additional funding, which Shaheen helped broker, has been included by Congress over the last two fiscal years. As a result of the Delegation’s efforts, New Hampshire received a more than ten-fold increase in opioid treatment funding through the State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant program.