January 16, 2018

Shaheen, Hassan Call on Senate Leadership to Prioritize Opioid Funding in Budget Deal

(Washington, DC) – Today, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) sent a letter to Senate Leadership and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership, urging budget negotiators to include Shaheen and Hassan’s proposal of $25 billion in additional funding to combat the opioid epidemic.

The senators wrote, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new data detailing state-by-state overdose rates, which ranks New Hampshire 3rd in overdose mortality rate in the nation. Tragically, 39 Granite Staters for every 100,000 now die from a drug overdose, which is nearly double the national average. New Hampshire is not alone, however, with respect to its dramatic increase in overdose rate.  The rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States has more than tripled since 1999, and the opioid epidemic has contributed to a decrease in life expectancy for the second year in a row. This is simply unacceptable.  There is no question that we are facing an unprecedented national public health emergency, but the federal response has been woefully insufficient.”

The senators continued, “We have proposed that a $25 billion federal investment be divided over two years between government agencies that support treatment efforts throughout the country, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Medicare and Medicaid. While more investments must be made, this much needed injection of funds is a critical step in turning the tide of this devastating epidemic.”

As the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to combat the opioid epidemic. Shaheen and Hassan have repeatedly fought to secure funding to combat the opioid crisis. Shaheen and Hassan also recently introduced bipartisan funding legislation to prioritize states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, including New Hampshire.

Full text of the letter can be read here