MANCHESTER, NH – Today, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced emergency funding legislation to address the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic that is devastating communities in New Hampshire and across the country. Senator Shaheen’s legislation would provide supplemental appropriations totaling $600 million to programs at the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.
“The opioid crisis is spiraling out of control,” said Shaheen. “This should be an all-hands-on-deck moment, not just for New Hampshire, but for our country. We are losing lives daily and our first responders, healthcare providers and criminal justice system are overwhelmed. To stem the tide, we urgently need additional funding for prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, and this legislation would provide resources to those on the frontlines.”
From 2002 to 2013, opioid-related deaths have quadrupled nationally according to the latest data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In New Hampshire last year, there was a 76 percent increase in opioid-deaths. In most states, more people are now dying of fatal overdoses than vehicle-related deaths.
In addition to her legislation, Senator Shaheen sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell to inform her agency of the emergency appropriations bill and to request that HHS use every means at their disposal to address this crisis:
I hope that you will support my efforts with any authority you have to address this public health emergency, and in my efforts to provide additional and immediate resources to our partners working diligently on the front lines of this crisis.
Senator Shaheen’s legislation would provide additional emergency funding to the following federal programs:
Department of Justice
- Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program – $200 million increase to fund state and local initiatives on drug treatment and enforcement programs, law enforcement, and prevention and education programs.
- Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Anti-Heroin Task Force Grant – $25 million to assist state drug task forces deal with particularly high rates of heroin abuse. Established by Senator Shaheen, this program targets resources to support police operations on the ground.
Department of Health and Human Services
- Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant- $250 million in additional funds to distribute to states for programs related to prevention, treatment, recovery support and other services. For many states, including New Hampshire, this is the primary source of federal programs to address the misuse of alcohol and drugs.
- Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention for States- $50 million to support the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s work on prescription drug monitoring programs, community or insurer and health system interventions, and rapid response projects.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse- $35 million for targeted research on drug addiction and efforts to disseminate the results to improve prevention and treatment.
- Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success- $20 million to address underage drinking and prescription drug misuse and abuse among 12 to 25 year olds.
- Capacity Expansion for Medication Assisted Treatment for Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction – $10 million to help improve access in high risk communities to medication assisted treatment services for treating heroin and prescription opioids.
- Safe Schools/Healthy Students- $5 million to support school and community partnerships in efforts to create safe, drug-free and respectful environments for learning and to promote the behavioral health of children and youth.
- Recovery Community Services Program- $5 million to assist community organizations and develop organized statewide network for peer–to-peer recovery support including activities such as peer coaching, peer support groups, life skills workshops and peer-led housing and employment connector programs.