NH Ranks Third in Drug Deaths
New Hampshire would be eligible for up to $5 million over two years to help expand access to treatment for opioid and heroin abusers under President Barack Obama’s proposed $1.1 billion request to Congress.
The funding is an estimate based on the severity of the public health crisis in the Granite State. That estimate ranks New Hampshire third, behind West Virginia and New Mexico, in terms of drug overdose deaths, with 26.2 per 100,000 population. The national rate was 14.7, based on 2014 data.
“One of the most important things we can do at this point is to expand treatment,” said Michael Botticelli, Obama’s national drug control policy director, in a conference call Tuesday. “The federal government can’t end this crisis alone. Everybody has a role to play.”
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-NH, participated in the call, which coincided with the White House releasing state-by-state funding estimates. Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island would each get $4 million under the plan, while Massachusetts would get $20 million over the two years, starting with fiscal year 2017.
Shaheen said the most recent estimate is that 100,000 people in New Hampshire are currently seeking treatment for substance abuse disorders.
“This is a crisis that is shattering America’s communities and its families,” she said.
Shaheen, along with U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, rallied this spring behind a $600 million emergency funding package to address treatment and recovery services.
Ayotte met with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday to discuss moving the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act forward in a conference committee with a number of bills passed by the House.
Ayotte, when Obama made his $1.1 billion funding proposal earlier this year, issued a statement saying she supported increased funding to combat the crisis.
One of Kuster’s bills would expand labeling on opioid-related prescription drugs to better inform doctors and patients.
“This epidemic literally knows no bounds,” she said on the call with Botticelli. - See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20160615/NEWS12/160619595#sthash.KyQXRHmN.dpuf