(Milford, NH) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) today joined Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll, as well as local students, school administrators, community leaders and youth advocates in a roundtable discussion at the Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley in Milford on the importance of the Drug Free Communities support program, which provides funding to prevent youth substance use. The participants received a briefing from Community Action for Safe Teens (CAST), a committee of the Boys and Girls Club and Drug Free Communities grant recipients from Raymond, Franklin, Lebanon, Jaffrey, Haverhill, Winchester, Nashua, and Kingston.
“The Drug Free Communities program does a tremendous job helping local organizations and youth advocates with the resources they need to prevent substance misuse among young people in New Hampshire. As this discussion today demonstrated, the effort to inform future generations of the dangers of drug and alcohol use is a team effort,” said Senator Shaheen. “I appreciate Director Carroll’s visit to New Hampshire and look forward to working with him in continuing to improve and adapt youth prevention efforts to combat the substance use disorder epidemic.”
“The fentanyl, heroin, and opioid crisis is devastating communities in every corner of our state, and unfortunately young people have not been spared from this horrible epidemic,” Senator Hassan said. “I will continue working with the rest of the New Hampshire delegation to ensure that Drug-Free Communities programs receive the resources that they need to stop substance misuse before it starts among our young people. And I want to thank Director Carroll for sitting down with us to discuss how we can work together to strengthen treatment, recovery, and prevention efforts in New Hampshire.”
“The Drug Free Communities Program provides invaluable resources for local organizations to address and prevent substance use among young Granite Staters,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I appreciated the opportunity to discuss local efforts to curb this epidemic with ONDCP Director Jim Carroll and my colleagues in the federal delegation, and to hear directly from those who are leading these youth substance use prevention efforts here in New Hampshire. We need to protect this important funding provided by the Drug Free Communities Program, and I look forward to continuing these conversations as we work to curb this epidemic.”
“I was pleased to meet today with ONDCP Director Jim Carroll, the members of our federal delegation, and those on the front lines in Granite State communities working to prevent substance use among New Hampshire youth,” said Congressman Chris Pappas. “I greatly appreciate Director Carroll taking the time to visit our state and hear directly from Drug-Free Communities programs. I look forward to continuing to work with Director Carroll and community advocates to provide additional federal resources and empower our young people to help lead the fight against addiction.”
Senator Shaheen and the New Hampshire congressional delegation have fought to ensure that Granite State communities have the resources they need to battle the substance use disorder epidemic. In 2018, Shaheen supported the passage of the SIREN Act, which provided more grants to rural emergency response providers on the front lines of the opioid crisis. Shaheen also helped negotiate the bipartisan agreement in 2018 that outlined the two years of opioid response spending – totaling $6 billion to respond to the opioid crisis. This included the set-aside funding for states with the highest mortality rates, like New Hampshire. This critical additional funding, which Shaheen helped broker, has been included by Congress over the last two fiscal years. As a result of the Delegation’s efforts, New Hampshire received a more than ten-fold increase in opioid treatment funding through the State Opioid Response grant program. Shaheen has also recently unveiled sweeping new substance use disorder legislation, the Turn the Tide Act, which Senator Hassan cosponsored, to help tackle the substance use epidemic and provide resources for Granite Staters struggling with substance misuse. The Turn the Tide Act provides $63 billion in funding over ten years to deliver flexible treatment funding to providers, establish proven prevention programs and address the substantial workforce challenges in the treatment field. Congresswoman Kuster is the lead sponsor of the legislation in the House.