Shaheen Reintroduces Bill to Invest $63 Billion to Turn the Tide on the Substance Use Disorder EpidemicMarch 25, 2021
**With surging rates of drug misuse during the pandemic, this bill would boost supportive housing for those struggling with substance use disorders, prioritize prevention and address workforce challenges**
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, reintroduced the Turn the Tide Act to invest $63 billion over the next 10 years to bolster our national response to the substance use disorder crisis. This reintroduction comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated rates of drug and substance misuse, leaving communities across the Granite State grappling with dual public health crises.
The Turn the Tide Act would combat this crisis by establishing proven prevention programs and addressing the substantial workforce challenges in the treatment field. It also contains a new provision to improve recovery housing through a five-year Medicaid demonstration model, which would allow Medicaid to cover the costs of recovery housing with the goal of reducing hospitalizations, emergency room visits and total health care costs for those suffering with addiction who do not currently have stable housing. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) also cosponsored the bill.
“Granite Staters have watched too many loved ones struggle with and die from substance use disorders, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this crisis by imposing more stress, isolation and economic insecurity on households. The toll of these dual public health crises is enormous, and both patients and treatment providers are in dire need of resources to turn the tide of this crisis,” said Shaheen. “This bill comes at a crucial time, investing $63 billion over the next 10 years to bolster our national response to the opioid crisis, with a new provision to invest in recovery housing. I’ll continue to fight in the Senate to invest in substance misuse prevention and treatment to protect our loved ones from this deadly epidemic.”
“As we combat the COVID-19 pandemic, we must continue to prioritize addressing the substance use disorder crisis, which remains one of the most persistent public health and safety challenges facing our state,” said Hassan. “This legislation would provide New Hampshire and other states with sustained investments in treatment and recovery services, while also addressing critical workforce shortages that are hindering efforts to provide the support that Granite Staters struggling with addiction need. I will continue fighting to ensure that New Hampshire has federal resources to address substance use disorder, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this important bill forward.”
Full text of the bill is available here.
Shaheen has spearheaded crucial legislation and funding to stem the opioid epidemic, including through her leadership on the pivotal Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. In government funding legislation signed into law in 2019, Shaheen included a key provision from the 2019 version of the Turn the Tide Act 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. Shaheen retained this provision in government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) signed into law in December. The FY2021 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. These combined efforts led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for 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.
The COVID relief package provides $4.25 billion in funding for substance use disorder treatment and mental health care, recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic can compound the nation’s substance use disorder epidemic. Shaheen also recently reintroduced the Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act, which aims to help address barriers to non-opioid pain management for those enrolled in Medicare, which will help stem the opioid epidemic across the nation.
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