WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan issued the following statement today after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new report on the rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States. The report found that the drug overdose death rate in New Hampshire in 2017 remained about the same as the previous year, but the national rate was nearly 10 percent higher than it was in 2016. The report also found a 45 percent increase from 2016 to 2017 in drug deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
“This report reaffirms what we have long known know to be true – the fentanyl, heroin, and opioid epidemic remains the most devastating public health and safety challenge of our time,” Senator Hassan said. “While I am thankful that New Hampshire’s rate of drug overdose deaths did not increase significantly in 2017, the opioid crisis remains so severe that the CDC found that American life expectancy fell for the second straight year in part due to increasing drug overdose deaths. This stark data from the CDC underscores the urgent need for more federal resources to support those battling this crisis on the front lines, and I will keep working across party lines every day to help turn the tide of this deadly epidemic and save lives.”
As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Hassan helped craft the bipartisan Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, which includes key New Hampshire priorities that the Senator worked on in order to strengthen prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement efforts. The Senator also worked with Senator Shaheen to change the funding formula to prioritize hardest-hit states like New Hampshire and secure roughly $46 million in additional funding for New Hampshire for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years to combat the opioid epidemic.