Kuster Joins Regional and National Leaders at Dartmouth College to Discuss the Opioid Crisis
(Hanover, NH) – Yesterday, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) visited Dartmouth College for Tackling the New Hampshire Opioid Crisis: Harnessing the Power of Science to Break the Cycle to discuss the opioid epidemic and share updates on her work in Congress to address this issue. Kuster was joined by Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Lisa Marsch, Director of the Dartmouth Center for Technology and Behavioral Health. The event also included:
- Danny Goonan, Chief, Manchester Fire Department Safe Station
- Dr. Nancy Bernardy, National Center for PTSD, US Department of Veteran Affairs; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth
- Dr. Julia Frew, Medical Director, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Perinatal Addiction Treatment Program; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth
Dr. Marsch presented some of her co-authored findings from the Dartmouth Center for Technology and Behavioral Health’s study, the “New Hampshire Hot Spot Study,” which examines the factors that have led to the disproportionally high rate of opioid overdoses in New Hampshire. The study is set to be published in the near future. New Hampshire ranks second in the country in overdoses per capita.
Dr. Volkow presented her work studying substance use disorders in a presentation titled, “Collision of the Pain and Opioid Epidemic- Challenges and Solutions.” Dr. Volkow discussed the neurological impact of heroin and opioid addiction as well as areas of needed medical research in treatment modalities and improved prescriber practices, especially in chronic pain management.
“Substance use disorders are impacting communities throughout our state and affect people regardless of age, gender, race, and class,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “There has been bipartisan support in Congress to address this issue, but there is still much more work to be done. The research being done by Dr. Valkow and Dr. Marsch is critical to taking on this crisis in an effective way. We know that any response to the opioid epidemic requires a comprehensive approach that includes treatment and recovery, education and prevention, and law enforcement. I appreciate the important research being done at Dartmouth College to expand our understanding of how we can better support people seeking recovery services."
"The Goal of this event was to have a shared dialogue and shared learning about the scope of the opioid crisis in our communities in NH, the confluence of factors giving rise to this crisis, and the role that scientific research can play as part of an integrated and multi-pronged approach to most effectively tackling the opioid epidemic both nationally and in our NH communities," said Dr. Marsch.
Kuster has helped lead the fight to address the heroin and opioid crisis at the federal level and in New Hampshire, and she has been an outspoken advocate for the need to support medical, law enforcement, treatment, and recovery efforts. As the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, she was instrumental in the fight to pass 18 bills in the House to address the opioid crisis, and in recognition of her leadership on this issue, Kuster was appointed to the conference committee tasked with producing the final version of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). In addition, Kuster supported the 21st Century Cures Act, an important step toward getting those on the frontlines of the opioid crisis the resources they need to take on the opioid epidemic.