March 20, 2020

Shaheen & Hassan Statements on 2020 Grant Award to Assist New Hampshire in Battling the Substance Use Crisis

**$28 million is a result of Senator Shaheen and Hassan’s work with NH House members and a bipartisan group of senators to secure a dedicated portion of funding for hardest-hit states**

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) issued the following statements after the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that New Hampshire will receive $28 million in federal funding through State Opioid Response (SOR) grants for substance use disorder treatment in 2020. For the first time, this grant funding can be used to help those with meth and cocaine dependencies thanks to a provision that Senator Shaheen recently secured in government funding legislation in December.

 

Thanks to Senator Shaheen and Hassan’s leadership, New Hampshire has now received approximately $92 million in funding in the past four years through SAMHSA grants focused on the opioid epidemic.

 

“Responding to the threat from the coronavirus to protect both public health and the financial stability of Granite Staters has quickly become the most pressing priority in Congress. Today, however, New Hampshire has received important funding to respond to the substance use disorder crisis that continues to ravage our state – funding that’s a result of longstanding bipartisan cooperation in Congress. Treatment saves lives and helps those suffering with drug dependencies to start anew – that’s why this funding is so vital,” said Senator Shaheen. “For the last several years, I’ve been working with New Hampshire’s federal delegation and a bipartisan group of senators from hardest-hit states to prioritize treatment funding to our states. This effort has been one of my top priorities in Congress. This is also the first year that this grant award can be used to also help those who struggle with meth and cocaine use – a change that came from conversations with treatment providers in New Hampshire. Our state has lost far too many loved ones, friends, neighbors and coworkers to this crisis and I’ll continue to do everything in my power to help turn the tide.”    

 

“As communities across New Hampshire grapple with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must also continue to support those on the frontlines of the substance misuse epidemic and individuals across our state struggling with substance use disorder,” said Senator Hassan. “This additional federal funding will help strengthen our state’s efforts to address the substance misuse crisis and save lives. New Hampshire continues to have among the highest overdose rates in the country, which is why it is so important that hardest-hit states like ours are prioritized in funding allocations. Federal funding for public health in New Hampshire – from COVID-19 to the substance misuse epidemic – is more important than ever, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation to secure support and resources for our state.”

 

Senators Shaheen and Hassan are leaders in Congress in combating the substance use disorder epidemic. Senators Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate a bipartisan agreement in 2018 that resulted in a large national increase in opioid treatment funding through the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program over two years. Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate a 15 percent set-aside of federal funding for hardest hit states, which has helped states deeply impacted like New Hampshire. These combined efforts led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire. In July, Senator Shaheen spearheaded new legislation—the Turn the Tide Act—to increase the availability of substance use disorder treatment. A key component of her legislation to allow treatment providers to use SOR grants to treat help patients suffering from methamphetamine and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorder, was included in funding legislation signed into law in December. In January, Shaheen called on the Trump administration to expedite the announcement of SOR grants for fiscal year 2020 and to provide guidance to states on the implementation of Shaheen’s flexibility provision to treatment and recovery providers, first responders and families, who are on the frontlines of the crisis. The administration heeded Shaheen’s calls in their announcement today.

 

A detailed timeline on these efforts to increase federal support for substance use treatment in New Hampshire is available here.

 

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