Kuster Visits Farnum Center North Treatment Center after Introducing Legislative Agenda to Combat Heroin Crisis
Franklin, NH – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) visited Farnum Center North, a recently expanded alcohol and drug treatment center, where she learned about the center’s services and discussed her work in Congress to combat the opioid epidemic. Earlier this year, the Center expanded its facility by 21 beds to help meet the growing demand for treatment by Granite Staters battling substance use disorder.
“Here in New Hampshire, we have been hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic that is sweeping across the country,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Facing a perfect storm of extremely high addiction rates and low access to treatment, many Granite Staters living with substance use disorder have struggled to access the resources they need to reclaim healthy, productive lives. Treatment centers like the Farnum North Center are often where individuals first lay the foundation for long-term recovery, and it is of the utmost importance that we increase access to treatment if we are to overcome this epidemic. At the federal level, I have introduced a legislative agenda to help support the expansion of treatment centers and other critical resources, and I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass these measures as soon as possible.”
During her visit, Kuster talked with leadership from Farnum North about the critical need for treatment services and met with several clients, who are currently seeking treatment at the center. Kuster was joined by Alex Ray, owner of the Common Man Family of Restaurants, who has long advocated for treatment services and who helped fund the recent expansion of the Center. Kuster was also joined by Larry Gammon, CEO of Easter Seals New Hampshire; Cheryl Wilkie, Senior Vice President of Substance Abuse Services at Easter Seals Farnum Center; and current clients of the Center, among others. While touring the facility, Kuster discussed how law enforcement officials, treatment providers, and prevention advocates can best work together to strengthen the continuum of care.
As addiction rates have risen dramatically across the Granite State, Kuster has helped lead efforts to highlight the need for increased attention on the crisis at the federal level through her work in Congress. Just last week, Kuster brought her Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic to New Hampshire for a field hearing to examine the impact of the opioid epidemic on the Northeast. Kuster also recently joined with the other members of her Task Force to unveil 15 pieces of bipartisan legislation to address the opioid epidemic, including through increased funding, expanded access to treatment, and better coordination among federal agencies. Earlier this year, her Task Force hosted a series of speeches on the House Floor to share personal stories of constituents across the country who have been victims of substance use disorder. In the Granite State, Kuster routinely holds regional briefing’s to hear directly from community members about how she can support on the ground efforts. She has also attended ride-alongs with law enforcement officials in Franklin, Nashua, and Keene providing her with a direct look at the challenges facing law enforcement and local communities. These experiences help Kuster continue to lead efforts in Congress to bring an end to opioid abuse in New Hampshire.