MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Friday, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) participated in a roundtable with Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director, Dr. Rahul Gupta, to discuss substance use prevention and treatment efforts in New Hampshire.
Gupta discussed President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy and newly announced funding of $1.5 billion through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program. This funding delivers on the Strategy by providing states like New Hampshire with resources to expand evidence-based treatment, prevent overdoses through interventions like naloxone, and save lives.
“President Biden called on the Nation to come together to beat the opioid epidemic as part of his Unity Agenda and introduced a comprehensive National Drug Control Strategy to help us reach that goal,” said Gupta. “In New Hampshire, I was glad to meet with the federal delegation, state officials, public health leaders, and law enforcement officials on the front lines of the overdose epidemic and hear about collaborations underway to address addiction and the overdose epidemic. To support these efforts, President Biden announced nearly $1.5 billion in funding, including over $28 million for New Hampshire. This funding will help close the substance use disorder treatment gap and expand access to naloxone to prevent overdoses, while we also work to reduce the supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl and dismantle drug trafficking.”
During the roundtable, the Laconia Police Department provided an overview of their Prevention, Enforcement and Treatment (PET) program and the Manchester Police Department presented updates on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team (ACERT) Enhancement Project, which provides services to children exposed to trauma, including substance use, domestic violence and sexual assault.
The expansion of these two programs resulted from a recent $4.6 million U.S. DOJ Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program (COSSAP) grant for the NH Department of Justice. Senators Shaheen and Hassan sent a letter in support of the application.
“Rates of substance use are alarmingly high in New Hampshire and across the country, especially in the wake of the pandemic. ONDCP Director Gupta’s visit to the Granite State today was an important opportunity to discuss support for organizations and law enforcement that are leading efforts around prevention and treatment options,” said Shaheen. “I also appreciated hearing updates from programs working on the frontlines of this crisis, like ACERT in Manchester and the Laconia Police PET model which has expanded to other communities. We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to finally turn the tide on this epidemic, and I’ll continue working with the administration and local organizations to support families impacted by addiction.”
“The substance misuse epidemic continues to ravage New Hampshire families and communities, and it is vital that we continue our state’s all-hands-on-deck approach, where we bring together law enforcement, health professionals, and community leaders to tackle this crisis,” said Hassan. “I’m proud to have secured significant federal funding for our state’s response to this crisis, and I am glad that Director Gupta joined us in the Granite State to discuss how these resources are helping to connect people who are struggling with substance misuse to life-saving resources. I’ll keep working with members of both parties to expand substance misuse prevention, treatment, and recovery services in our state.”
“No New Hampshire family has been untouched by the addiction crisis. And we know there’s no silver bullet. We won’t solve this entirely on the treatment side, and we won’t solve this completely on the enforcement side. We need to see collaboration at all levels to take on this crisis and save lives,” said Pappas. “One thing is clear: community-driven programs like ACERT and PET are working and paying huge dividends. I’m committed to fighting for continued federal investment in these and other efforts around prevention, enforcement, and treatment for individuals experiencing substance use disorder and their families.”