(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ), announced that the DOJ has awarded the New Hampshire Judicial Branch (NHJB) $1.75 million to establish a new family drug court program. The grant will fund a Family Treatment Court (FTC) pilot project in Sullivan County to help enhance access to services for children and families experiencing abuse and neglect, and those impacted by substance use disorder (SUD) and/or mental illness. This will be the state’s first FTC and serve as a pilot program for potential additional FTCs in other counties throughout the state. Senator Shaheen has encouraged DOJ to expand this program in recent years.
The delegation also announced $326,150 for Carroll County through the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, which invests in public safety efforts to assist those with mental illness and/or substance use disorder. Specifically, this funding will be used to bring social workers or mental health professionals into contact with law enforcement agencies when someone is in crisis. Additionally, the delegation announced $155,313 for the New Hampshire Department of Justice (NHDOJ) through the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program. The RSAT program helps states develop and institute programs at correctional and detention facilities for those struggling with substance use disorder in an effort to stem the tide of the crisis and reduce recidivism related to drug related offenses.
“This new pilot program is vital for New Hampshire, which has been among the hardest-hit states by the opioid epidemic for far too long. We know all too well that the impact of substance use disorder isn’t limited to the person struggling – it’s felt by the entire family,” said Senator Shaheen. “The Family Treatment Court program will be critical for Sullivan County families in the short-term, and important for families throughout the state in the long-term as we use the outcomes of this pilot program to shape more response options in other regions throughout New Hampshire. This is more important than ever as we see how the substance use disorder crisis has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice which awards these grants, I’ll keep fighting for more funding opportunities to help Granite Staters who are struggling and their families who are fighting this crisis with them.”
"The fentanyl, heroin, and opioid epidemic has taken a grave toll on our state, and we must do everything we can to meet Granite Staters struggling with substance misuse where they're at so that they can receive the assistance they need," said Senator Hassan. "These federal grants will help strengthen our state's family drug court system, our response to emergencies involving substance misuse or mental illness, and substance abuse treatment programs for incarcerated individuals. I will continue to fight along with the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation for additional resources to bolster our state's ongoing response to this heartbreaking epidemic."
“Substance use disorders and mental health challenges are pressing issues facing New Hampshire communities, and they require thoughtful, comprehensive solutions,” said Congresswoman Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force. “Treating addiction as a family issue, providing substance abuse treatment to justice-involved individuals to prepare them for a healthy reintegration into society, and de-escalating encounters between people who are experiencing mental health issues and law enforcement are all critical steps to improving the health and wellbeing of New Hampshire as a whole. I will continue working to ensure all Granite Staters have the support and resources they need to stay healthy and live up to their full potential.”
“These federal funds will help individuals struggling with addiction and open the door to treatment and recovery when they come in contact with the justice system,” said Congressman Pappas. “New Hampshire drug courts play an important role in giving individuals a another chance, allowing them to take control of their lives, and ensuring they can positive choices that lead to better outcomes. New Hampshire’s addiction crisis is deeply personal to too many families, and I will continue to take every action possible to save lives and curb this epidemic.”
Senator Shaheen and the New Hampshire congressional delegation have prioritized efforts in Congress to combat the substance use disorder epidemic and provide assistance to impacted Granite Staters. Last year, the delegation announced $149,405 in federal funding to combat recidivism among justice-involved individuals in New Hampshire struggling with substance use disorder. In 2018, Senators Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate a bipartisan agreement that resulted in a large national increase in opioid treatment funding through the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program over two years – including $28 million this year. The Senators helped negotiate a 15 percent set-aside of federal funding for hardest hit states, which has helped states deeply impacted like New Hampshire. These combined efforts led to a 1000% increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire. Last year, Senator Shaheen spearheaded new legislation—the Turn the Tide Act—to increase the availability of substance use disorder treatment. A key component of her legislation to allow treatment providers to use SOR grants to treat help patients suffering from methamphetamine and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorder, was included in funding legislation signed into law in December. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact New Hampshire, the congressional delegation has repeatedly called for additional funding for substance use disorder services in a COVID-19 relief package.