June 26, 2017

Senator Hassan Statement on New Study on Co-Occurrence of Mental Health Issues and Substance Use Disorders

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan issued the following statement after Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center released a study finding that adults across the country who experience mental health issues receive more than half of the total opioid prescriptions distributed annually in the United States:

“We know that the heroin, opioid, and fentanyl crisis stems in large part from the overuse and misuse of prescription opioids, and we also know that mental health issues and substance use disorders oftentimes co-occur,” said Senator Hassan. “As we work to combat the horrific substance misuse crisis that is devastating our communities and taking a major toll on our economy in New Hampshire, this study highlights how dangerous Trumpcare, which includes massive cuts to Medicaid, would be for our state. We need a comprehensive, holistic approach to combating this epidemic that addresses the underlying causes of addiction, including mental health issues, and Trumpcare would dramatically hurt these efforts.”

During her time as Governor, Senator Hassan signed bipartisan legislation requiring all prescribing boards to update prescribing rules for opioids. The law mandates the use of the prescription drug monitoring program and requires all boards governing prescribing to have new rules establishing standards for assessing the need for opioids, the risk for abuse, and educating patients.

In the Senate, Senator Hassan is standing up against the dangerous Trumpcare bill, which would eliminate Medicaid expansion and make drastic cuts to the traditional Medicaid program – threatening access to critical mental health and substance use disorder services.