Shaheen Statement on Trump Administration’s Opioid Summit: Where’s the Assistance For New Hampshire?

March 01, 2018

**SHAHEEN: “It’s been over a year since President Trump was sworn into office and the material assistance promised to New Hampshire to fight the opioid epidemic is till sorely lacking from this administration”**

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued this statement following a summit on the opioid epidemic convened this afternoon by the Trump administration:

“It’s been over a year since President Trump was sworn into office and the material assistance promised to New Hampshire to fight the opioid epidemic is till sorely lacking from this administration,” said Shaheen. “The Trump administration has established worthwhile panels, commissions, reports and recommendations regarding the federal response to the opioid epidemic, but this work still hasn’t translated into a commitment of real resources, particularly for treatment. Likewise, almost all of the recommendations issued by the President’s Opioid Commission back in November have yet to be implemented. Meanwhile, the administration continues to propose policies that would be a huge setback to New Hampshire’s response efforts, such as eliminating Medicaid expansion and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) which manages the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program critical to regional law enforcement efforts to interdict illegal drugs. It’s also very disappointing to see treatment centers in New Hampshire struggle to keep up with demand for services while struggling to pay the bills. In Congress, we’ve made progress with a budget agreement that has a commitment to increase funding for opioid response efforts, but there’s broad recognition that much more needs to be done. I urge President Trump to follow through on his promise to New Hampshire and put his support behind a legislative proposal that delivers significant treatment funding. Those on the frontlines deserve a federal response that is equal to the magnitude of this epidemic.”

During the Presidential campaign, candidate Trump repeatedly promised New Hampshire help to treat those suffering from substance use disorders:

“I'm now doubling-down on that promise that I made to the people of New Hampshire and can guarantee you we will not only stop the drugs from pouring in, but we will help all of those people so seriously addicted, we'll get them assistance, we'll make sure that they have the top treatment and get better. We've got to get them better.”—Candidate for President Donald Trump, Portsmouth NH (October 15th, 2016)  

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to combat the opioid epidemic. A member of the Common Sense Caucus, Shaheen recently helped negotiate the bipartisan budget agreement that includes a commitment of $6 billion to respond to the opioid epidemic over the next two years, with $3 billion being provided each year. Shaheen and fellow New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan received assurances that the opioid funding will be improved, similar to a bipartisan proposal put forward by Senator Shaheen, to prioritize states like New Hampshire with high mortality rates from overdoses. Senators Shaheen and Hassan have proposed a $25 billion investment over two years to support programs that provide opioid treatment.

Senator Shaheen has been strongly opposed to efforts to defund the ONDCP and has introduced legislation with Senator Hassan to preserve ONDCP and increase funding for HIDTA program. HIDTA provides assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions in the U.S.