Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire
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Feb 3, 2016
Catching up with Annie
Combatting the Epidemic

Hello, everyone!

This week, I wanted to provide an update on some of my latest work to combat the opioid crisis. I know stakeholders across the Granite State are engaging in this fight, and I encourage individual communities and organizations to contact my office to learn about federal government programs and grants that might be available to assist you in your local efforts. Please contact my Concord office at 603-226-1002 to find out ways our office can help.

The heroin epidemic is taking a devastating toll on thousands of families in the Granite State and across the country. As a cofounder of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, I have long urged the President and Congress to increase funding for this fight. We must ensure that states, advocates, city officials, and medical providers have the resources they need to provide treatment, recovery, support, and life-long care for those suffering from addiction. What’s more, we must increase support for law enforcement officials and first responders, who are risking their lives every day as they work to keep opioids off the street and prevent more senseless deaths from overdose.

I was proud to join my colleagues from both parties in supporting additional funding in the recent end-of-year appropriations bill that will help prevent opioid misuse, treat addiction, and work with experts at all levels to support critically important resources to communities across the Granite State. This bipartisan legislation increased funding for substance use prevention and treatment programs across the country, including increased funding for drug courts, Anti-Heroin Task Forces, and the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, among other initiatives.

Watch here: my testimony before the House Budget Committee pushing for funding to combat the opioid epidemic

I also want to thank President Obama for listening to the recommendations of my task force when he proposed an additional $1.1 billion in his 2017 budget to go towards fighting this epidemic.  This week, I testified in front of the House Budget Committee to continue pushing for this funding, and I will keep fighting to ensure this proposal is reflected in the final budget process – and that it adequately benefits the most at-need states like New Hampshire.

Talking with stakeholders during a regional briefing on the opioid epidemic in Cheshire County.

Over the past few months, I also have been hosting regional briefings across New Hampshire to discuss local efforts to combat the opioid epidemic here at home. These conversations have provided a valuable opportunity for me to hear directly from our leading experts and stakeholders about how the epidemic has affected the Granite State, as well as how we can best work together to establish comprehensive, lasting solutions that will stem the ongoing crisis. Ensuring that our law enforcement officials, first responders, and medical providers have the resources they need is critically important, and I will never stop fighting to make sure this gets done at the federal level.

I hope you have a great rest of the week, and thank you for everything that you do to make New Hampshire such a wonderful place to live.