(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen issued the following statement after the New Hampshire Medical Examiner’s office released an official count of drug overdose deaths for 2018:
“It is heartbreaking to see these numbers knowing that every death represents family members, friends and coworkers,” said Shaheen. “We cannot grow numb to this tragedy and need to keep finding ways to save lives and deliver treatment before it’s too late. These statistics demonstrate that not only is this epidemic the worst public health crisis in our state’s history, it is also the most persistent. We cannot thank our law enforcement, first responders and treatment providers enough for all they do to battle this crisis – it is often an overwhelming responsibility. My number one job in the U.S. Senate is to continue to advocate for tools and resources so that New Hampshire can finally turn the tide of this crisis."
Senator Shaheen is a leader in the Senate on tackling the opioid epidemic. Senator Shaheen helped negotiate the bipartisan agreement in 2018 that outlined the two years of opioid response spending – totaling $6 billion to respond to the opioid crisis. This included the set-aside funding for states with the highest mortality rates, like New Hampshire. This critical additional funding, which Shaheen helped broker, has been included by Congress over the last two fiscal years. As a result of the Congressional Delegation’s efforts, New Hampshire received a more than seven-fold increase in annual grant award funding provided through the State Opioid Response Grant program.