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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

As Co-chair of Bipartisan Task Force to Combat Heroin Crisis, Kuster Continues Series of Briefings on Opioid Epidemic Today in Nashua

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 11:30am

Nashua, NH – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) brought together stakeholders from the greater Nashua area to discuss their joint efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in the region. As the co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan Task Force to End the Heroin Epidemic, Congresswoman Kuster brought together stakeholders from across the region to participate in this briefing, the latest in a series around the state focusing on the epidemic.

“With more Americans dying each year from drug overdoses than car accidents, the urgency behind addressing the ongoing opioid epidemic is greater than ever,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Just last week, we learned from the New Hampshire state medical examiner that a record 414 individuals died last year from overdoses in the Granite State. As the co-chair of a bipartisan task force in Congress that is focused solely on combatting the epidemic, I was proud to bring together stakeholders today in Nashua to hear best practices and to discuss ways we can work together to establish comprehensive, lasting solutions. I also greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss a number of legislative initiatives I’m working on to tackle this challenge at the federal level, including my STOP ABUSE Act and the PROP Act, which I cosponsored with Congressman Alex Mooney from West Virginia. We must join together on the local, city, state, and federal level to put an end to this epidemic once and for all.”

Congresswoman Kuster was joined for this discussion, held at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, by Mayor Jim Donchess, Police Chief Andrew Lavoie, Fire Chief Steven Galipeau, and Superintendent Marc Conrad, as well as additional first responders, medical professionals, treatment providers, city officials, and local stakeholders, among others. During the briefing, participants provided updates on the challenges they are facing and shared their best practices in addressing the opioid epidemic in Nashua and surrounding communities. Kuster also discussed her work in Congress to combat the epidemic, including her work on the Task Force and recent legislative efforts. Last week, Kuster cosponsored the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) Act, which would fix a glitch in the Affordable Care Act that indirectly incentivizes doctors to prescribe more opioid pain medication than necessary.  Today’s event is the latest in a series of regional briefings on the opioid epidemic that Congresswoman Kuster has held with stakeholders across the state, and she will bring these conversations with her back to Congress to help guide her work on the Task Force.

Kuster has prioritized efforts to address the opioid crisis across the state by convening events on substance use disorders and by highlighting the issue at the federal level through her work in Congress. Last year, Kuster helped introduce bipartisan legislation that aims to attack the epidemic from a number of different angles, including through increased grant funding and increased coordination among federal agencies. As co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, Kuster works to bring together experts from federal agencies to coordinate efforts to combat the epidemic. She has also spoken at forums and attended briefings and ride-alongs with law enforcement officials in Nashua and Franklin, providing her with a direct look at the challenges facing law enforcement and local communities. Kuster has taken these conversations with her back to Washington, where she continues to lead efforts to bring an end to opioid abuse in New Hampshire.