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New Hampshire Congressional Delegation Announces Critical Funding to Tackle Substance Use Disorder Crisis

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior appropriator on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Labor-Health and Human Services (L-HHS) Subcommittee, announced today with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that $29,880,604 in State Opioid Response (SOR) grants are now being made available to the State of New Hampshire. Shaheen and Hassan fought to secure this funding to help the state address the substance use disorder (SUD) in the government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2024 that was signed into law. Increased funding follows passage of Shaheen-led legislation, the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act, which increased funding and provided critical flexibilities for states administering SOR spending.  

“Too many Granite Staters have been lost to the opioid epidemic and I’m pleased that this funding, which I fought hard for, will provide New Hampshire with the flexibility to adapt to and address the crisis as it has impacted so many of our communities,” said Senator Shaheen. “As an appropriator, I’ll continue working to ensure the State Opioid Response program gets the resources it needs so we can put more people on the path to long-term recovery.”

“The fentanyl crisis has devastated families across New Hampshire, and State Opioid Response funding provides essential resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery across our state,” said Senator Hassan. “Granite Staters have again and again told me about the heartbreaking impacts of the fentanyl crisis on their families, and the need to continue combating this epidemic in every way we can. We must stay focused on increasing access to evidence-based, lifesaving treatment; preventing addiction in the first place; and supporting law enforcement and health professionals’ response to this crisis.”

“Substance use disorder has impacted every community across New Hampshire, and every life lost to addiction and overdose is a tragedy. While we have made a lot of progress in tackling the substance use disorder crisis, more work remains,” said Representative Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “This increase in State Opioid Response (SOR) program funding will help turn the tide on this epidemic, expand access to treatment and recovery services, and help save lives.”

“These federal resources are critically important to helping New Hampshire combat the opioid and addiction epidemic, and I’m pleased we have secured an increase in funding with this grant,” said Congressman Pappas. “I remain committed to bringing every resource to bear to help save lives and allow those suffering from addiction to get the help they need. I'll keep fighting to deliver support to our state to ensure first responders, health providers, and our friends, neighbors, and family members have the tools they need to end the substance use disorder crisis.”

The SOR program is pivotal in providing communities and states with the federal resources necessary to combat the substance use disorder epidemic. Shaheen and Hassan have led efforts in Congress to combat the substance use disorder epidemic, both through Shaheen’s leadership on the L-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee and Hassan’s position on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. In recent years, Shaheen and Hassan successfully pushed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to maintain SOR funding levels for New Hampshire and avoid significant cliffs in funding year-over-year. Shaheen and Hassan's efforts have led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire.

In 2022, Shaheen and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act to give local communities resources to better combat the opioid and substance use disorder epidemic. The legislation, passed as part of the FY2023 government funding package, improved SOR grants by providing additional investments in and flexibility for states and local communities. The bill authorized $1.75 billion annually in SOR grants. The authorization also included language to ensure states do not face significant funding cliffs between cycles.   

Kuster is the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force, a group of over 140 Democratic and Republican lawmakers focused on bridging the partisan divide to tackle the mental health and substance use disorder crises, stopping the flow of these dangerous drugs into our communities, expanding access to treatment and care, and helping save lives.