Jeanne Shaheen was one of the first members of Congress to declare the opioid epidemic an emergency and take action to address it. She took on Presidents of both parties to increase opioid response funding for New Hampshire and is a national leader advocating and achieving a more aggressive response to the addiction crisis.
States like New Hampshire that were suffering the most from the opioid crisis initially received the same level of funding as every other state. Jeanne saw that was wrong, and she went to work to make sure that the hardest-hit states get the resources they need. Thanks to her leadership, funding to New Hampshire increased tenfold to $35 million in 2019 to expand treatment and prevention services, including peer-based recovery support. Much of that funding comes because of language she put into law ensuring that the hardest-hit states are a priority. Jeanne is leading bipartisan efforts to support local treatment providers, law enforcement and first responders to protect health care and treatment coverage for people fighting addiction. Stopping the flow of drugs into our communities is a top priority for Jeanne, and she has led efforts in Congress to crack down on fentanyl and other substances sustaining the epidemic.
New Hampshire is making progress in its efforts to combat the opioid crisis, but there is more work to be done, so Jeanne wrote and introduced sweeping legislation, the Turn the Tide Act,” which would provide $63 billion over the next 10 years to invest in treatment, prevention, and recovery efforts. Her bill would promote the use of non-opioid forms of pain treatment, ensure that insurers do not act as barriers to vital naloxone access, and would also address New Hampshire’s shortage of workers helping those struggling with substance use disorder by providing loan repayment and increasing Medicaid payments and would make an enormous difference both nationally and in New Hampshire in helping curb this ongoing epidemic. A key component of her legislation that was requested by New Hampshire’s treatment providers was signed into law in 2019, allowing opioid response funds to address meth and cocaine dependency.