Kuster Welcomes Efforts to Increase Recovery Housing in Rural Communities
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin and Opioid Task Force, is welcoming the announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that they will partner to create recovery housing in rural communities.
“We know that in rural parts of our state access to recovery housing can be a real challenge for individuals struggling with substance use disorder,” said Kuster. “This partnership has the potential to expand support for some of the communities hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. It’s important that we work to ensure the efforts of USDA and HHS to expand recovery housing reach rural communities in New Hampshire. I’ve worked across the aisle to strengthen and expand the Northern Border Regional Commission, which has helped to bolster treatment options in rural New Hampshire. I will continue to push for resources for those on the frontlines of this crisis throughout our state.”
Kuster has pushed to expand access to care in rural parts of New Hampshire, writing in support of funding through the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) for the construction of a new 32-bed facility to help expand services at the Friendship House, the North Country’s only short-term residential and outpatient treatment program. As the co-founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin and Opioid Task Force, Kuster has helped lead the fight to address the heroin and opioid crisis at the federal level and in New Hampshire, and she has been an outspoken advocate for the need to support medical, law enforcement, treatment, and recovery efforts.
Kuster has worked to increase funding for New Hampshire to address the opioid epidemic and helped announce $22.9 million in additional funding for the state. Last year, Kuster introduced the Respond NOW Act, which would provide critical resources to those on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic. The Bipartisan Heroin and Opioid Task Force has been a driver of Congressional action to take on the opioid crisis. In addition to the polices included in the comprehensive opioid package, the Task Force successfully passed the VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, the INTERDICT Act, and most recently, the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act. The Task Force also successfully pushed for the inclusion of $1 billion in funding as part of the 21st Century Cures Act to address the opioid epidemic and helped advance $6 billion in new opioid funding as part of the FY 2018 government funding bill. Last Congress, 14 Task Force bills were signed into law as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).