(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ), led Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) in welcoming $4,710,993 to the New Hampshire Department of Justice (NH DOJ) to lower rates of substance use disorders and provide support to affected families. New Hampshire has been on the frontlines of this crisis and was among the top ten states in the nation for drug overdose-related deaths in 2019.
The $4.7 million grant holistically responds to the substance use disorder crisis by integrating two key programs: The Prevention, Enforcement & Treatment Program (PET), first started by the Laconia Police Department, and the Manchester Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team Technical Assistance Center (ACERT TAC). The funding for PET will expand full-time officers that respond to overdose calls and connect individuals and families with life-saving resources to more communities across the state. The program also partners with ACERT TAC, which connects families and children to trauma and mental health services after intervention from first responders. Paired together, the program takes a multigenerational approach to treat these disorders and prevent future overdose recidivism.
“For years, New Hampshire has been on the frontlines of the substance use disorder crisis, with loved ones succumbing to addiction and communities reeling in the wake. I’ve always prioritized ensuring our state has the resources it needs to improve access to treatment and support families who’ve experienced trauma, and this grant enhances those efforts. I know this $4.7 million will make a huge difference in our state’s capacity to respond to the scope of this epidemic,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m pleased this funding from COSSAP – a program I created – will help ensure life-saving treatment reaches Granite Staters in need, as well as connect affected families with mental health services. The trauma of the substance use disorder crisis is felt by children and entire communities, and I’m hopeful this multigenerational approach will help us finally heal and put this epidemic behind us.”
“As we continue to grapple with the substance use disorder crisis, initiatives like the Prevention, Enforcement, & Treatment Program (PET), which was started by Officer Eric Adams in Laconia, are vital to getting communities needed support,” said Senator Hassan. “It was an honor to host Officer Adams as my guest for the State of the Union Address in 2020, and it is great news that the PET program will be further expanded along with the Manchester Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team Technical Assistance Center. These programs will provide much-needed support to those struggling with substance use disorder and children and families who have experienced trauma as a result of this crisis. These comprehensive and collaborative efforts between local organizations and first responders are essential in helping address the substance misuse epidemic head on, and I will continue working with partners across New Hampshire to provide additional resources.”
“To end the addiction and overdose epidemic here in New Hampshire, it is essential we treat Substance Use Disorder (SUD) as the medical condition that it is, eliminate the stigma around getting help, and expand access to treatment for those in need. These federal dollars will help accomplish these goals,” said Rep. Annie Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “By equipping our first responders, including law enforcement officers, with the tools they need to best respond to overdose crises and by connecting families to mental health and trauma services after intervention, this funding will help to address the substance abuse crisis. I will continue working to hold illicit drug distributors accountable and expand access to recovery treatment for those who need it.”
“It’s welcome news that New Hampshire will receive this grant to help fund PET and ACERT programs and training in best practices for our first responders,” said Rep. Chris Pappas. “New Hampshire’s ACERT programs are a model for the country in how we can bring communities together to address the substance use disorder crisis, protect our kids, and address the trauma they may have experienced. I’ll keep fighting for our communities to have all the resources they need to combat this epidemic and to pass the National ACERT Grant Program Authorization Act, legislation I introduced in the House, which will help expand these programs nationwide.”
“The New Hampshire Department of Justice is honored to have been awarded $4,710,993 from the U.S Department of Justice’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-Based Program (COSSAP). The Department of Justice will work with several police departments across the state to create police officer positions to enhance and expand on the Laconia Police Department’s Prevention, Enforcement, and Treatment (PET) program. Officers in the selected communities will respond to overdose calls in their communities, and immediately connect the victim and their families with lifesaving drug treatment and recovery programs. Additionally, Amoskeag Health in Manchester will partner with the PET program to enhance their Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team (ACERT) Technical Assistance Center to allow for multigenerational support services to Substance Abuse Disorders, to ensure that all victims of SUD are connected with services,” said John M. Formella, Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire.
The funding comes from the DOJ’s Comprehensive Opioid, Substance Abuse and Stimulant Program (COSSAP), which Shaheen created and steadily increased funding for over the years. COSSAP provides assistance to states and localities to respond to the substance use disorder crisis and was developed as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) legislation. Shaheen has helped lead bipartisan, national efforts around CARA to ensure that federal resources are devoted to evidence-based education, treatment and recovery programs that work. In government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2021, Shaheen successfully retained language she added in 2019 to allow grant recipients to be able to use COSSAP funding – which in 2020 was $185 million – to also help those suffering from meth and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorder. The expanded coverage for COSSAP was spurred by Shaheen’s standalone bill, the Turn the Tide Act, to help tackle the substance use disorder epidemic. For FY 2021, Shaheen successfully procured $541.5 million for the Department of Justice’s anti-opioid and substance abuse grant programs through her leadership on the Senate Appropriations Committee.