Combating the Opioid & Heroin Epidemic
The opioid and heroin epidemic is tearing communities apart in the Granite State and all across the country. This is a public health crisis, and we need to be doing everything we can to strengthen prevention, treatment, and recovery services and strategies. That’s why I co-founded the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force with my former colleague, Representative Frank Guinta (NH-01) in 2015. I have been proud to serve as co-chair of this task force since its inception, most recently with Representative Tom MacArthur (NJ-03).
The Task Force, which has more than 80 congressional members, aims to develop best practices and foster interagency collaboration to address the epidemic. In 2016, the Task Force successfully pushed for the passage of eighteen bills in one week which became part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S.524). The Task Force has also held numerous hearings and briefings, both in Washington and in communities impacted by addiction, to educate lawmakers about effective means to curb the crisis.
In addition to founding the task force, I fought to include funding to address the opioid crisis in the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6), and I introduced Carl’s Law (H.R. 5601), which would require any medication that contains an opiate to include a warning on its label identifying the presence of opioids and the possibility of drug-seeking behavior.
I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress to bring an end to this deadly epidemic.
More on Combating the Opioid & Heroin Epidemic
(Nashua, NH) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, today joined city officials in Nashua to recognize the first anniversary of the Safe Stations program. The Safe Stations program allows people in need of help and addressing substance use disorder to go to a participating fire station to receive assistance.
(Washington, DC) – Last night, the Senate passed the VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, legislation authored by Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force. The legislation would clarify current law to stipulate that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is required to disclose information to state controlled substance monitoring programs for anyone – veteran or non-veteran – who is prescribed these medications through VA.
(Washington, DC) - Today Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, and Congressman Richard Neal (MA-01) hosted a briefing by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for New England Congressional Members on the agency’s efforts to interdict illegal narcotics in the Northeast.
(Washington, DC) – Today the House passed the Conference Report for the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included an amendment authored by Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) that will direct the Department of Defense (DoD) to study the opioid prescribing practices and training of DoD physicians. The DoD is one of the largest healthcare providers in the United States and improving prescribing practices would provide critical lessons that could be transferred to the larger medical community and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
**The discussion can be watched in its entirety here**
[November 6, 2017 – Washington, DC – Ross Cunningham Superintendent of the Merrimack County Department of Corrections and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02)]
From my first days in Congress, my main goal has been to bring people together in support of commonsense solutions to the challenges we face. Disagreements and debates over policy are an important and healthy part of our democracy, but at the end of the day people of good faith should come together with the goal of enacting change that will improve people’s lives and keep people safe.
(Washington, DC) –Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH), the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, released the following statement on the White House Opioid Commission’s final findings:
**Bill would address issues that have led to states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic not receiving adequate funding**
**Introduction follows announcement by HHS, SAMHSA that it would not change its funding formula for FY 2018**
During this time of hyper partisanship in Washington it’s so important to find areas of common ground where we can push for our shared goals that will benefit Granite Staters and the American people. That’s why I’ve formed two bipartisan Task Forces, one to tackle the opioid epidemic and the other to address sexual violence. Both these issues pose complicated and difficult challenges, but I believe by having candid conversations and working together, we can make real progress.
(Washington, DC) – Today Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, released the following statement on the public health emergency declaration for the opioid epidemic announced by President Trump: