Kuster Hears from New Hampshire Researcher on Impact of Fentanyl
**First roundtable of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force focuses on the science and treatment issues behind synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl**
**The full roundtable can be watched here**
(Washington, DC) – This afternoon, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Congressman Tom MacArthur (NJ-03) hosted a roundtable meeting of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force. The roundtable featured a panel of treatment and healthcare providers, recovery advocates, and fellow Members of Congress in the Rayburn Gold Room for a discussion on the science and treatment issues behind synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. Synthetic opioids have become a serious challenge for healthcare providers and law enforcement in New Hampshire and around the country. Kuster was joined by Dr. Lisa Marsch, Director of the Center for Technology and Behavior at Dartmouth College who recently published the “New Hampshire HotSpot Report” which examines the use of fentanyl in New Hampshire.
Other members of the Task Force in attendance included Representatives Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Jim Himes (CT-04), Patrick Meehan (PA-07), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), and Lois Frankel (FL-21).
“Fentanyl is a drug that has swept the state of New Hampshire,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “It’s crucial that we in Congress understand synthetic opioids, as they are much more powerful [than non-synthetic opioids]. We need to know what we’re dealing with so that we can come forward with policies to help law enforcement and get people into treatment. I appreciate the work that our witnesses do, and I look forward to working with them to help people get well and become productive citizens.”
“This is a time of considerable need but also a time of unprecedented opportunity for us to expand implementation research and really understand the best ways to engage in this very broad network of stakeholders and systems in creating novel and effective integrated solutions to tackle this crisis we are experiencing as a nation,” said Dr. Lisa Marsch, Director of the Center for Technology and Behavior at Dartmouth College.
Speaking of the HotSpot report, Dr. Marsch said, “Every single one of the seventy five users that we interviewed reported having observed at least one, and typically more than one, overdoses. We had one young woman who said in the past two months she has seen twenty to twenty five overdoses including her own mother who died of an overdose, her brother who overdosed seventeen times in a matter of months and is now incarcerated and her own personal use of fentanyl persists.”
Congresswoman Kuster is the co-founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, and has been at the forefront of the fight to address the heroin and opioid crisis at the federal level and in New Hampshire. She has been an outspoken advocate for the need to support medical, law enforcement, treatment, and recovery efforts.