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Senator Hassan Highlights Importance of Prioritizing Funding for States Hardest-Hit by Opioid Epidemic, Expanding Medication-Assisted Treatment in Health Committee Hearing

HELP Release

Click here for footage of the Senator’s questions.

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today participated in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on the bipartisan Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, which includes a number of priorities Senator Hassan has championed.

The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 was released in draft form last week so that the HELP Committee can continue to solicit input from experts and families and make updates based on this feedback.

Senator Hassan opened her questioning by reiterating the importance of prioritizing federal funding for states that have been hardest-hit by the opioid crisis like New Hampshire, stating, “As we continue our work together [on the Opioid Crisis Response Act], it’s really critical that we ensure that we are adequately prioritizing federal funding for states that have been hardest-hit by the opioid crisis – a priority that has bipartisan support.

Senator Hassan also highlighted the bipartisan Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers (CORC) Act, which she introduced with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and is included in the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. The bill would expand existing centers to serve as “Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers” that provide a full range of treatment and recovery services to not only treat patients but also to provide them with the resources they need to lead successful and drug-free lives.

Discussing the bill, Senator Hassan said, “I’ve heard from a number of providers and stakeholders in the Granite State in support of this legislation and I hope we can get this bill passed.”

The Senator asked Robert Morrison of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors about the importance of expanding medication-assisted treatment. Senator Hassan discussed legislation she is working on, which would provide grants to support medical schools and residencies in developing their own programs to train students and establish a pathway to let these trained, practicing physicians apply right away to prescribe medication-assisted treatment – the same time they are allowed to start prescribing opioids. When Senator Hassan if Mr. Morrison thought such legislation “will help to increase patient access to medication-assisted treatment,” Mr. Morrison replied, “I think it will, and I appreciate your leadership…look forward to working on that with you.”

Senator Hassan also stressed the importance of collaboration in order to better encourage substance use prevention efforts in schools.