Shaheen Statement on Obama Administration’s Announcement of New Actions to Address Opioid Epidemic, Renews Call for Congress to Pass Emergency Funding
**Administration’s new actions will expand access to treatment, create new policies to prevent and treat opioid abuse among veterans, and better educate providers and patients about safe pain management**
**Shaheen: It’s critical that Congress also step up to the plate and treat this epidemic like the national public health emergency that it is**
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released a statement following an announcement from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell this morning on new actions the department is taking to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.
“These are commonsense steps to address the opioid and heroin epidemic that is ravaging families and communities in New Hampshire and across the country,” said Senator Shaheen. “The Administration’s actions will expand access to treatment, create new policies to prevent and treat opioid abuse among veterans, and better educate providers and patients about safe pain management. These are all steps in the right direction. However, it’s critical that Congress also step up to the plate and treat this epidemic like the national public health emergency that it is. Congress is long overdue in delivering desperately needed funding to first responders and treatment providers. In a bipartisan vote on a resolution I recently introduced, the Senate voiced it’s strong support for funding and now it’s time to back up words with action.”
Shaheen has continued to lead the effort in Congress to pass emergency supplemental funding for those on the frontlines of the opioid addiction crisis. Her legislation would provide supplemental appropriations totaling $600 million to programs at the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services that focus on treatment and recovery, as well as state and local law enforcement initiatives. In June, the Senate passed a motion filed by Shaheen to instruct lawmakers reconciling the House and Senate versions of the Shaheen-sponsored Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) to include funding to states for prevention and treatment.