Kuster Hosts Latest Regional Briefing in Littleton on Combatting the Opioid Epidemic
Littleton, NH – This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) brought together stakeholders from the Littleton area to discuss their joint efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in the North Country. Today’s briefing was the latest in a series that Congresswoman Kuster has held on this topic around the state. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, a group she helped found last year.
“In every corner of the state, families are losing loved ones to the devastating opioid epidemic. No family is immune, and we must work together to put an end to this scourge on our communities once and for all,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “I was so pleased to get a chance to meet with local community members in Littleton today, all of whom are dedicated to helping those in need and eradicating the epidemic that is hurting our families. I will take their thoughts with me back to Washington, where I will share their stories with my colleagues on the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic.”
During this morning’s roundtable, Kuster was joined by Littleton Regional Healthcare CEO Warren West, Littleton Police Chief Paul Smith, Littleton Fire Chief Joseph Mercieri Jr., and State Representative Linda Massimilla, as well as medical providers, treatment providers, town officials, and local advocates, among others. Together, briefing participants discussed the impact of heroin addiction on the North Country, as well as the specific steps Littleton and surrounding towns are taking to put a stop to the growing epidemic throughout the region. Kuster also shared information about her work on the Congressional Task Force and her 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, and 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. She is also pushing for federal emergency funding for states that need more resources to stem the epidemic.
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 Second District. Kuster uses the information she gathers at these briefings to inform her federal-level efforts to fight the opioid epidemic. In addition to her series of briefings, Kuster has gone on ride-alongs with law enforcement officials in Nashua, Franklin and Keene. These ride-alongs provide the Congresswoman 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 the opioid crisis in New Hampshire.