Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire
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Kuster Discusses Impact of Opioid Use on Cheshire County at Latest Regional Briefing on Opioid Epidemic

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 11:00am

Keene, NH – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) discussed the impact that the opioid epidemic has had on communities across Cheshire County during a regional briefing that she hosted in Keene. 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.

“The conversations that take place at these regional briefings are always challenging, but they are essential if we are to successfully stem the growing opioid epidemic that has been harming communities throughout Cheshire County and beyond,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “In order to establish lasting solutions, we must bring together stakeholders from across the community to discuss common challenges, as well as best practices that can help guide our work. During today’s briefing, I was joined by key stakeholders from across the region who shared their thoughts on the varied impact this epidemic has had on different sectors. I look forward to sharing what I heard today with my colleagues in Congress, so we can continue to work together to combat the epidemic.”

Congresswoman Kuster was joined for this discussion, held at Cheshire Medical Center, by Keene Mayor Kendall Lane, Police Chief Brian Costa, Fire Chief Mark Howard and representatives from Cheshire Medical, the Phoenix House and the Keene School District, among others.  During the briefing, participants shared the varied impacts that the opioid epidemic has had on their work and shared some of the best practices they are using to combat the growing opioid epidemic throughout the region. Kuster also discussed her work in Congress to combat the epidemic, including her work on the Task Force and the recent Special Order she held on the House floor to put a face on addiction. Earlier this week, Kuster held a regional briefing on the opioid epidemic with stakeholders from across the Upper Valley, 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 legislationthat addresses several aspects of combatting the growing heroin epidemic across the country, including the establishment of the Interagency Task Force on Heroin Addiction, the reauthorization of vital drug crisis grants, and the revision of treatment administration guidelines for individuals who are unable to receive take-home treatment, among other provisions.

Kuster is also the co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, which frequently brings together experts from across numerous federal agencies to coordinate efforts to combat the epidemic. Earlier this month, she hosted a Special Order in the House to urge her colleagues in Congress to take action; during the Special Order, she and 10 of her colleagues shared on the House Floor the stories of Americans who have been affected by the crisis. Kuster 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.