SHAHEEN CALLS ON ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER TO ADDRESS NEW HAMPSHIRE HEROIN AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG ADDICTION EPIDEMIC

April 03, 2014

(Washington, DC)  – At this morning’s Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to address New Hampshire’s growing heroin and prescription opioid abuse epidemic. During the hearing, Shaheen specifically asked Holder for federal assistance for local law enforcement and prescription drug monitoring to appropriately combat what has become a top public health issue in the Granite State.

“Last year alone, New Hampshire lost 64 individuals to heroin-related deaths, underscoring just how large of a problem heroin and prescription drug addiction is in our state,” Shaheen said. “This epidemic is too serious for us to ignore.”

“Fighting this epidemic will require a multifaceted approach that provides more resources and assistance for law enforcement, improves prevention and education efforts and increases our focus on treatment and recovery.”

At the hearing, Shaheen also asked Holder how the Department of Justice (DOJ) can improve support for and collaboration with state and local law enforcement to comprehensively prevent and address heroin and prescription drug addiction within New Hampshire communities as well as what other resources might be available to assist the state in confronting this epidemic.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, 64 individuals died in heroin-related deaths last year. Last week, Shaheen called on Senate Appropriations Committee leadership to direct sufficient federal investments to support New Hampshire law enforcement and public health officials to end the drug abuse epidemic.

Tomorrow, Shaheen will host a roundtable discussion with state officials at the Salem Police Department in Salem, NH to identify areas where federal authorities can assist local efforts to address the epidemic.