(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, which funds the Department of Justice (DOJ), announced with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that the New Hampshire Department of Safety will receive a $1 million Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) award. Specifically, the funding is provided by the DOJ Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program and was awarded to the New Hampshire Department of Safety to help strengthen the New Hampshire State Police’s continued efforts to investigate, interdict and curtail the supply of opioids into New Hampshire.
“Drug overdoses continue to devastate families across our state. Our law enforcement officers deserve access to all the tools they need to address this issue as they work to investigate drug trafficking and other illicit activities,” said Senator Shaheen. “I supported this federal funding so New Hampshire can better identify and dismantle the criminal networks that distribute these substances in our communities and help keep our families safe and healthy.”
“As the opioid epidemic continues to devastate New Hampshire communities, we must give law enforcement the tools that they need to stop criminals who are fueling this crisis,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad to see this federal investment in keeping our communities safe, and I will continue working to help stem the flow of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs into our communities.”
“Every life lost to overdose is a tragedy — we must use every resource at our disposal to end the substance use disorder epidemic and save lives,” said Congresswoman Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “These critical resources heading to our state will help law enforcement agencies stop the flow of these dangerous drugs into our communities, hold illegal distributors accountable, and save lives across New Hampshire.”
“We must continue to support a robust and sustained response to the ongoing substance abuse crisis," said Congressman Pappas. "These funds will ensure our law enforcement officials have the resources they need to halt the distribution of opioids, something that continues to be an urgent priority of mine in Congress. I'll keep fighting to ensure New Hampshire can combat drug trafficking and comprehensively address the addiction crisis."
AHTF provides funding to state law enforcement agencies for drug enforcement, including investigations and activities related to the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and other opioids or the unlawful diversion and distribution of prescription opioids. AHTF is funded through the DOJ’s COPS program, which Shaheen has long supported as the Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the DOJ.
Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to address the substance use disorder epidemic. Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan FENTANYL Results Act, signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), increases global cooperation in the fight against synthetic drug trafficking. Shaheen and Senator Marshall lead the Cooper Davis Act, which is a bipartisan bill to hold social media companies accountable for reporting to law enforcement all illicit fentanyl activity occurring on their platforms. In the FY 2023 government funding legislation, Shaheen secured $608 million in federal grants, including $35 million for the COPS AHTF program, to help communities and first responders across the nation to respond to the substance use disorder crisis. Shaheen also included in the FY 2023 government funding bill language to authorize increased funding for the State Opioid Response grant program, which gives local communities resources to better combat the opioid and substance use disorder epidemic. Shaheen recently delivered opening remarks at the White House’s National Recovery Month Summit, hosted by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
Last year, Shaheen and Hassan led efforts to prevent a steep cliff in State Opioid Response grant funding, securing a commitment to protect New Hampshire funding from Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra. Since 2018, Senators Shaheen and Hassan have secured approximately $140 million from these grants for New Hampshire to combat the opioid epidemic in the state.
Senator Hassan has also worked on additional bipartisan efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Senator Hassan successfully passed into law her bipartisan Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, to increase the number of medical professionals authorized to prescribe the gold standard of opioid treatment. Recently, Senator Hassan and a bipartisan group of Senators called on the DEA to take further action to remove barriers to this treatment. Senator Hassan recently returned from a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip to China, where she pressed for further action to combat fentanyl trafficking. Earlier this year, Senator Hassan visited Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras as part of a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip where she spoke with foreign officials about the need to crack down on fentanyl and other drug trafficking. Senator Hassan also worked with her colleagues to pass into law the bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which has provided critical tools to Customs and Border Protection to help detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids.