(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Representative Annie Kuster (NH-02) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon $1 million in federal funding through its Rural Communities Opioid Response-Implementation program. The grant will help Dartmouth-Hitchcock expand prevention, treatment and recovery services to combat the substance use disorder epidemic in rural New Hampshire.
“The substance use disorder epidemic has taken a tremendous toll on families across New Hampshire. Our rural communities have been especially hard hit, with the pandemic, health care workforce shortages and transportation barriers exacerbating this crisis,” said Senator Shaheen. “By bolstering prevention, treatment and recovery services at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, this federal funding will make a real difference in the fight against substance use disorders in our rural communities.”
“This funding will go a long way to help Granite State families. Over the years, we have seen how substance use disorder can destroy lives and rip families apart – particularly in rural communities where access to medical care may not be as accessible. This grant will help advance Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s work to respond to the substance misuse crisis through evidence-based interventions and the latest treatment practices. I’m glad to see this critical funding go to a hospital that has long been on the frontlines of this fight, and I will keep working to help those struggling with substance use disorder,” said Senator Hassan.
“In 2020, more than 93,000 Americans died of a drug overdose — this staggering loss of life is a tragic reminder of the urgent need to address the addiction epidemic in New Hampshire and across the country,” said Representative Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “This critical funding heading to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center will help ensure our rural communities have the resources and support needed to treat patients throughout their recovery. I will continue working across the aisle to advance evidence-based solutions to the substance use epidemic.”
Shaheen and Hassan have spearheaded crucial legislation and funding to stem the substance use disorder epidemic, including through Shaheen’s leadership on the pivotal Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies which oversees funding for the Department of Justice and its related anti-opioid and methamphetamine programs. Shaheen supported the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 3.0 to help combat the opioid epidemic. In government funding legislation signed into law in 2020, Shaheen again included a key provision from the 2019 version of her legislation - Turn the Tide Act, which she has reintroduced this year and is cosponsored by Senator Hassan - to provide flexibility for treatment providers to use State Opioid Response (SOR) grant dollars to help patients suffering from meth and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorders. Shaheen wrote the provision in response to discussions with New Hampshire treatment providers. The FY2021 funding legislation also provided $1.5 billion in SOR grant funding, as well as the continuing of a 15 percent set-aside that Shaheen and Hassan fought to secure in 2018 for hard-hit states like New Hampshire. These combined efforts led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire. Over the past four years, New Hampshire has received approximately $92 million from these grants Shaheen and Hassan helped secure to combat the opioid epidemic in the state, with the hardest-hit state set-aside responsible for the majority of those funds.