(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced $250,000 in Drug Free Communities (DFC) grants from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to two local drug prevention coalitions in New Hampshire. The grants will provide the Partnership for Public Health in Laconia and Salt & Light in Winchester funding to prevent youth substance misuse, including prescription drugs and opioids.
The DFC Program is administered by ONDCP with program support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). DFC coalitions have led innovative opioid prevention initiatives and have demonstrated significant declines in prevalence of prescription drug misuse amongst participants.
“Turning the tide on the substance use disorder epidemic requires an all-hands-on-deck approach, including robust support for youth prevention efforts,” said Senator Shaheen. “That’s why this federal funding is so important – it’s an investment in frontline organizations that have done tremendous work to stop another generation from succumbing to this deadly epidemic and whose efforts are needed now more than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates substance misuse in communities across our state. I’ll continue to fight for more funding opportunities to bolster New Hampshire’s response to the substance use disorder crisis.”
“These federal dollars will help support organizations in Laconia and Winchester that are working to prevent the next generation from developing an addiction to opioids and other prescription drugs,” Senator Hassan said. “Youth drug prevention groups play an important role in combating the substance use disorder crisis that has devastated communities across New Hampshire, particularly now as the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this ongoing public health challenge. I will keep working with the delegation to secure additional federal resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery.”
“Youth substance misuse prevention programs are vital to combating the addiction crisis in New Hampshire and across the country,” said Representative Kuster. “With the COVID-19 pandemic making it harder for those who are struggling to get the care they need, investing in these programs is more important than ever. I’m pleased to join my colleagues to help announce this commonsense and much-needed funding, and I will continue my efforts to expand access to substance misuse treatment in the Granite State.”
“To adequately address the addiction epidemic in New Hampshire, we must engage in a comprehensive, community based approach which includes education,” said Representative Pappas. “This much-needed funding will allow communities in New Hampshire to expand their drug prevention programs to better educate and empower our younger generation. I remain committed to working with the delegation to continue securing additional federal support as we continue to confront our nation’s crisis of addiction.”
Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice which oversees numerous programs to combat substance use disorder, has consistently advocated for the DFC program. With Senator Hassan, Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to respond to the opioid crisis. Shaheen has hosted DFC roundtable discussions with local students, school administrators, community leaders and youth advocates in Woodsville as well as Milford, where she joined the New Hampshire congressional delegation and ONDCP Director Jim Carroll.
In 2018, Senators Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate a bipartisan agreement that resulted in a large national increase in opioid treatment funding through the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program over two years – including $28 million this year. Shaheen and Hassan also helped negotiate a 15 percent set-aside of federal funding for hardest hit states, which has helped states hardest hit, like New Hampshire. These combined efforts led to a 1000% increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire. Last year, Senator Shaheen spearheaded new legislation—the Turn the Tide Act —to increase the availability of substance use disorder treatment, which Senator Hassan cosponsored. 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 2019. Last week, Shaheen introduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0 to increase the funding authorization levels for the CARA programs enacted in 2016 and put in place additional policy reforms to help combat the opioid epidemic that has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. In the Commerce, Justice Science and Related Agencies (CJS) government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2021, Shaheen – who is the Vice Chair of the subcommittee – successfully added measures to the Senate bill that increased federal support for key programs that respond to the substance use disorder crisis, including $50 million for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to construct a new drug laboratory in New England, to improve lab testing in the region. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact New Hampshire, the congressional delegation has repeatedly called for additional funding for substance use disorder services in a COVID-19 relief package. In October, the New Hampshire Congressional delegation announced $1.75 million to fund a Family Treatment Court (FTC) pilot project – the state’s first FTC – in Sullivan County to help enhance access to services for children and families experiencing abuse and neglect, and those impacted by substance use disorder (SUD) and/or mental illness.