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Shaheen Holds Roundtable Discussion in Manchester on Implementation of New Flexibility to Treat Meth and Cocaine Use

Shaheen at drug flexibility roundtable

(Manchester, NH) – Today in Manchester, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted a roundtable discussion at the Farnum Center on the implementation of her provision signed into law in December that will provide flexibility for treatment providers to use opioid response grant dollars to help patients suffering from meth and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorders. Previously, federal law only allowed State Opioid Response (SOR) grants to be used by providers to treat patients suffering from opioid-related substance use disorders. The change to the law authored by Senator Shaheen is based on a key component of her Turn the Tide Act, which she introduced in July, and originated from her discussions with New Hampshire treatment providers. 

“Our response to the substance use disorder epidemic needs to evolve to reflect the changes Manchester and communities across New Hampshire have seen in recent years,” said Senator Shaheen. “We can ensure more Granite Staters get the help they desperately need by empowering treatment providers with the ability to use these federal grants to treat a broader range of substance misuse. This change to the law was the result of my conversations with law enforcement and treatment providers on the frontlines of this crisis. As the new policy is implemented, I will continue to work closely with city officials, law enforcement and treatment providers in Manchester to ensure they have the resources they need to confront the full scope of this epidemic.” 

“We’re grateful for Senator Shaheen’s efforts to advocate for this crucial provision and for her work to engage with service providers around New Hampshire who shared that flexibility in opioid response funding would be essential to meet the needs of Granite Staters,” said Dr. Cheryl Wilkie, Chief Operating Officer, Farnum. “We’re pleased to see the expansion of these funds and know that we will be able to reach far more people experiencing substance use disorders than we were before thanks to her advocacy.” 

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to combat the opioid epidemic. In addition to the flexibility provision signed into law in December, the government funding bill also funded the SOR grant program at $1.5 billion for 2020 and maintained the 15 percent set-aside for hardest-hit states that Shaheen secured in government funding legislation in each of the past two years. Shaheen’s efforts to secure a set-aside for states with the highest mortality rates led to a 1000% increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire.