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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

Nashua Telegraph: Opioid task force seeks to end epidemic

Apr 26, 2016
In The News

After pushing legislation to address the opioid epidemic last week, U.S. Reps. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., and Annie Kuster, D-N.H., and Rep. Bruce Poliquin, of Maine, hosted a Congressional Hearing at Saint Anselm College Monday with a panel of 12 experts to collect feedback.

Guinta and Kuster, who hail from opposite sides of the aisle, teamed up to lead the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic last October, and have since been joined by about 80 other representatives.

"Here in New Hampshire we've felt the devastating impact of addiction on our communities," Kuster said, citing the state's reputation as having one of the highest addiction rates and lowest availability of treatment in the country. "By bringing the task force to New Hampshire for today's hearing, it's our intent to further the conversation we have already started," she said.

The two were joined by Poliquin, who helped host a series of three panels made up of experts and advocates from New Hampshire and Maine to discuss law enforcement, treatment, recovery and prevention.

Poliquin said the topic is important to him since he lost a family member to addiction, and areas of his state are struggling with an escalating epidemic.

Speakers stressed addiction could strike anyone.

"Addiction is an equal opportunity disease," Kuster said. "We're seeing folks come out of their silos and unite to find a shared solution."

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