Shaheen Leads NH Delegation in Announcing More than $1.4M in Federal Funding to Support Drug Enforcement Efforts

November 01, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ), announced with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that New Hampshire will receive $1,402,083 in federal funds through the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) program. Specifically, the funding was awarded to the New Hampshire Department of Justice and will strengthen New Hampshire law enforcement’s ability to locate and investigate illicit activities related to the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, or carfentanil or the unlawful distribution of prescription opioids.

“In 2020, the overwhelming majority of total drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire were due to opioids like fentanyl or opioids combined with other drugs. This is a crisis and our law enforcement agencies should have access to the resources and support they need to end the flow of these lethal substances to our communities,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m very pleased this federal funding has been awarded, which will bolster the State’s ability, in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, to identify and destroy criminal opioid distribution networks. Holding those who are continuing and exacerbating the substance use disorder crisis in our communities to account is a key part of our strategy to turn the tide on this crisis, and these federal dollars will be put to good use to achieve that goal. I will continue to fight for anti-heroin and other substance use disorder response funding for New Hampshire so we can finally end this epidemic once and for all.”

“As Granite State communities continue to feel the devastating impacts of the substance misuse crisis, we must crack down on the illicit activities that fuel it,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad to announce this federal grant to help New Hampshire’s law enforcement agencies investigate illegal drug trafficking, and I will continue working to stem the flow of dangerous drugs into our communities.”

“The addiction and substance misuse crisis here in New Hampshire and across the country has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is essential we ensure law enforcement has the resources needed to hold illicit distributors accountable and get dangerous drugs out of circulation,” said Representative Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “In Congress, on the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee and my Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, I’m working across the aisle to expand access to care, stop the cycle of addiction, and help save lives. I look forward to seeing the benefits of this federal funding here in New Hampshire, and will continue working to end the addiction epidemic.”

“It’s welcome news that the New Hampshire Department of Justice will receive these funds to support a robust and sustained response to the ongoing substance abuse crisis,” said Representative Pappas. “Just as I’ve fought for increased funding for recovery services, ensuring our law enforcement officers have the resources they need to halt the distribution of opioids has been a priority of mine in Congress. I’ll keep fighting to ensure our communities have the resources they need to comprehensively address this crisis moving forward.”

“We are incredibly pleased and honored to have been chosen as one of thirteen states to receive this additional funding. These resources are critical to New Hampshire’s law enforcement community as we continue our efforts to combat the opioid crisis, and will allow for the implementation of a multi-disciplinary partnership among the New Hampshire Information and Analysis Center, the Attorney General’s Drug Task Force, and the New Hampshire State Police. We are committed to working and coordinating with federal, state, and local law enforcement entities to maximize the impact and effectiveness of these efforts. On behalf of the New Hampshire Department of Justice and the entire New Hampshire law enforcement community, I would like to thank Senator Jeanne Shaheen for her efforts and assistance with procuring these funds. I would also like to thank our Grants Management Unit for their work on preparing our grant application,”  said John M. Formella, Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire.

Shaheen has spearheaded crucial legislation and funding to stem the substance use disorder epidemic, including through Shaheen’s leadership on the pivotal Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, which oversees funding for the Department of Justice and its related anti-opioid and methamphetamine programs. In government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2022 funding legislation announced by the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen helped secured $615 million to help communities and first responders respond to substance crises, including opioid addiction and drug trafficking. Shaheen also supported the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 3.0 to help combat the opioid epidemic.

In government funding legislation signed into law in 2020, Shaheen again included a key provision from the 2019 version of her legislation - Turn the Tide Act, which she has reintroduced this year and that Senator Hassan cosponsored - to provide flexibility for treatment providers to use State Opioid Response (SOR) grant dollars to help patients suffering from meth and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorders. Shaheen wrote the provision in response to discussions with New Hampshire treatment providers. The FY 2021 funding legislation also provided $1.5 billion in SOR grant funding, as well as the continuing of a 15 percent set-aside that Shaheen and Hassan fought to secure in 2018 for hard-hit states like New Hampshire. Over the past four years, New Hampshire has received approximately $92 million from these grants Shaheen and Hassan helped secure to combat the opioid epidemic in the state, with the hardest-hit state set-aside responsible for the majority of those funds. These combined efforts led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire. 

Senator Hassan has also worked to stem the illegal flood of drugs such as fentanyl that have helped fuel the substance misuse crisis. In 2019, the Senator traveled to China to stress the importance of strengthening efforts to combat fentanyl trafficking from China. Senator Hassan also attended the White House signing ceremony in 2018 for the bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which she cosponsored, to help ensure that U.S. Customs and Border Protection have the tools to help detect and intercept fentanyl being smuggled into the United States – much of which originated in China. Senator Hassan also secured a provision in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act to curb the shipment of deadly fentanyl and other synthetic drugs being sent through the mail to drug traffickers here in the United States. Last year, bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator Hassan became law to help prevent opioid trafficking by further ensuring that personnel at the Department of Homeland Security can more easily detect synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Additionally, the Senator recently joined a bipartisan group of Senators in reintroducing that Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act to provide law enforcement officers with better technology to detect and identify synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.