Kuster Provides Opioid Legislative Update during Berlin, Colebrook Stops
Berlin, NH - Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) visited Berlin and Colebrook to provide an update on recent legislative efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Kuster, who has helped lead the fight in Washington for additional funding to address the heroin crisis in New Hampshire, stopped at both the newly opened Hope for New Hampshire Recovery center in Berlin and the Indian Stream Health Center in Colebrook.
“I am proud to have helped lead my colleagues to pass much-needed legislation addressing the opioid epidemic, but there is still much work to be done as we fight the epidemic that is killing our loved ones and tearing apart our communities in the North Country and across New Hampshire,” Kuster said. “This law represents a significant step forward in the battle against the opioid epidemic. It provides critical support for law enforcement, treatment providers and others on the front lines of this battle. I remain disappointed and concerned that this law does not include additional emergency funding to address the epidemic. But, the partial funding and programs it does include will help give communities the crucial tools they need to save lives. From increasing access to life-saving medication like buprenorphine by allowing nurse practitioners to administer the drug, to creating new grant programs for treatment facilities that are desperately in need of funds, to investing in lifelong recovery efforts, this legislation will make important policy changes that are crucial to ending this epidemic.”
At Berlin’s newly opened Hope for New Hampshire Recovery Center, Kuster met with treatment providers, recovery workers and other stakeholders to discuss the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and other ways Kuster could be helpful in securing additional federal dollars to fight the epidemic. The new center opened earlier this month and is the sixth such facility currently operating in the state.
At Colebrook’s Indian Stream Health Center, Kuster discussed her legislative efforts in Washington, and also learned about the center’s efforts to address substance misuse in the North Country, which were aided earlier this year by a $221,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Kuster was joined at the briefing by Indian Stream staff, as well as representatives from the Coos County Corrections Department, Northern Human Services and other organizations from around the region.
As the cofounder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, Congresswoman Kuster was instrumental in the fight to pass 18 bills in the House to address the opioid crisis. In recognition of her leadership on this issue, Kuster was appointed to the conference committee that worked to combine the House bills with a Senate counterpart to produce the final version of CARA that President Obama signed into law last month.