Chief Willard to testify with Ayotte in D.C. on NH heroin epidemic

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Chief Nick Willard
Chief Nick Willard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte is scheduled to testify at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 27, at 10 a.m., on the opioid abuse epidemic that has reached crisis levels in New Hampshire and across the country. Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard is also set to testify before the Committee.

The goal of the hearing is to learn more about what needs to be done to combat rampant heroin and prescription opioid abuse occurring across the country, and what role Congress can play to confront this threat.  Potential legislative solutions, including the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which Ayotte helped reintroduce, will be discussed at the hearing.

“I welcome the opportunity to update my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee about the opioid addiction crisis in New Hampshire, and I appreciate that the Chairman recognizes the importance of addressing this public health and safety epidemic,” said Ayotte. “I will also push committee members to support the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which would increase support for treatment, education, prevention, first responders, and individuals in recovery. As police chief of New Hampshire’s largest city, Chief Willard’s testimony will be valuable to committee members as they debate legislative solutions to support local efforts to address this crisis, and I am pleased he will have the opportunity to share his first-hand experience and expertise.”

“I look forward to testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee to bring to Washington the reality of what we are facing in New Hampshire.  The prescription opioid abuse and heroin crisis is impacting the quality of life across our state, and the increasing role of fentanyl in overdose deaths is staggering,” said Willard. “What we need from Washington is a comprehensive and sustained approach to help improve treatment options for those struggling with an opioid use disorder, support for individuals in recovery, and adequate resources for state and local law enforcement who are on the front lines of this public health and safety crisis every day.  While we can’t arrest our way out of this crisis, we must continue to go after the drug traffickers and organizations who are fueling this epidemic and profiting from it.”

Ayotte helped reintroduce the bipartisan CARA (S. 524), which seeks to expand opioid abuse prevention and education, access to opioid overdose reversal drugs like naloxone, support for additional treatment methods, and support for individuals in recovery. In September 2015, a bipartisan group of Attorneys General from 38 states — including New Hampshire — endorsed the bill. She also fought to include additional resources and increased funding to address the opioid abuse crisis in the Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations bill that was recently signed into law.


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About Carol Robidoux 6468 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!