NH Delegation Announces Pivotal SOR Funding for NH to Tackle Substance Use Disorder Crisis
Washington, September 19, 2022
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior appropriator on the Labor-Health and Human Services (L-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that $28,507,046 in State Opioid Response (SOR) grants are now being made available to the State of New Hampshire, which Shaheen and Hassan fought to secure in the government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2022 that was signed into law. The SOR program is pivotal in providing communities and states with the federal resources necessary to combat the substance use disorder epidemic. Shaheen and Hassan successfully pushed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to maintain SOR funding levels for New Hampshire and avoid significant cliffs in funding year-over-year.
“Especially after our successful efforts in Congress to bring flexibility to the SOR program to better adapt to the crisis as it evolved in our communities, these funds are instrumental to addressing the full scope of this epidemic,” said Senator Shaheen. “As the Appropriations Committee works to finalize government funding legislation for the next fiscal year, I’ll do everything I can to ensure the SOR program gets the attention and resources it needs to continue making these investments in New Hampshire so we can put people on the path to long-term recovery.”
“The opioid epidemic is devastating Granite State communities, which is why I fought to ensure that New Hampshire continues to get significant federal resources to increase prevention, treatment, and recovery services,” said Senator Hassan. “I have heard countless heartbreaking stories from Granite Staters, including from parents who have lost two children to opioid overdoses – and I have also heard from Granite Staters in recovery about the difference that treatment and peer-to-peer support has made. We need to continue an all-hands-on deck approach to combating the opioid epidemic, and I will stay laser focused on getting New Hampshire communities and law enforcement the tools that they need to combat this crisis.”
“State Opioid Response (SOR) grants provide crucial federal funding to address the evolving addiction crisis in our communities, and I’m thrilled to announce this substantial investment in the well-being of our state” said Representative Kuster, a founder and co-chair if the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “As a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I helped to secure sustained funding for the SOR program, and I advocated for increased flexibility so that these grants extend to treatment for cocaine and methamphetamine dependency, in addition to opioids. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support prevention efforts and ensure that Granite Staters have access to the treatment and recovery services they need.”
“The addiction crisis is deeply personal for New Hampshire families, and we must continue to build and invest in a multi-pronged approach,” said Representative Chris Pappas. “This grant from the Department of Health & Human Services will help those suffering from addiction and ensure they get the support they need. I remain committed to working across the aisle with my colleagues, public safety officials, and health experts to find solutions to combat this epidemic.”
Shaheen and Hassan have led efforts in Congress to combat the substance use disorder epidemic, both through Shaheen’s leadership on the L-HHS Appropriations subcommittee and Hassan’s position on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Over the last five years, New Hampshire has received more than $140 million from SOR grants that Shaheen and Hassan have secured to combat the opioid epidemic in the state, with the hardest-hit state set-aside responsible for the majority of those funds. The FY2022 funding bill that Shaheen helped write continues to provide flexibility provisions that she authored to allow for SOR grant dollars to be used to support treatment and recovery for cocaine and methamphetamine use, in addition to opioid use. Shaheen and Hassan led efforts this year to prevent a steep cliff in SOR funding, securing a commitment to protect New Hampshire funding from Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra. Shaheen and Hassan's efforts have led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire. Last week, Shaheen reintroduced her legislation with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that would improve the SOR program by providing additional investments in flexibility for states and local communities.