Kuster Discusses Opioid Abuse Legislation and Rides Along with Franklin Police Department
Franklin, NH – Today, Congresswoman Kuster (NH-02) discussed her efforts to combat the growing opioid abuse epidemic with members of the Franklin Police Department and rode along with officers for a first-hand look at the impact of the heroin epidemic in Franklin. Kuster was joined by leadership from the Franklin Police Department for a briefing on how the heroin epidemic is affecting the city of Franklin, as well as how state and local law enforcement and Congress can best work together to combat the growing epidemic.
“As the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire has grown, our law enforcement officials have been faced with the formidable challenge of cracking down on the individuals trafficking these lethal drugs while serving as the first responders to an increasing number of overdoses,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “It is clear that this is not a problem that we can arrest our way out of. The Franklin Police Department, like so many other local departments across the state, has does an incredible job rising to this challenge, responding to this epidemic with incredible compassion and resolve. As I continue to promote legislation in Congress to help end opioid abuse, I will take with me what I heard today from Chief Goldstein and his colleagues to ensure that our local police departments and first responders are adequately supported in this fight.”
During her visit, Kuster received a briefing from Mayor Ken Merrifield and Police Chief David Goldstein as well as some of the Department’s lead detectives and officers to discuss their latest efforts to increase awareness, to support prevention efforts, and to meet the needs of Franklin’s residents affected by opioid abuse. Franklin has been one of the communities hit hardest by the opioid epidemic in central New Hampshire, and has experienced a marked rise in calls relating to opioid abuse.
Kuster has prioritized efforts to address the opioid crisis across the state by convening events on substance use disorders and by prioritizing the issue at a federal level through her work in Congress. Earlier this year, Kuster helped introduce the STOP ABUSE Act, bipartisan legislation that 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. This week, the Task Force held its first meeting and brought together experts from across numerous federal agencies to discuss leading efforts to combat the epidemic. Today’s briefing and ride-along provided Kuster with a direct look at the challenges facing law enforcement officials and the local community, which she will take with her back to Congress, where she will continue leading efforts to bring an end to opioid abuse in New Hampshire.