U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire introduced legislation last week that would increase federal spending to combat substance use disorder by 1,000 percent. Congress recently approved for $6 billion to spent over the next two years in response to the opioid crisis, but Shaheen’s bill, if passed, would increase the spending to $63 billion over ten years.
The Opioid Crisis in New Hampshire
“The substance use disorder epidemic is not only the worst public health crisis in our state’s history, it is also the most persistent,” Shaheen said in a prepared statement. “Hundreds of overdose deaths a year in New Hampshire cannot become the norm.” New Hampshire has one of the highest drug overdose death rates in the country. At least 470 deaths occurred in the state in 2018, 420 of which from opiate use, and of those, 385 involved fentanyl. The drug death rate in New Hampshire has not been below 400 since 2014.
The Bill’s Details
According to Shaheen’s office, the Turn the Tide Act has three pillars: it delivers flexible funding, prioritizes prevention and addresses workforce challenges. The bill would increase State Opioid Response (SOR) treatment grants from $1.5 billion per year to $5.5 billion per year over the next five years, boost funding for youth-oriented drug use prevention programming, increase Medicaid payment rates for medical professionals who are treating patients with substance use disorders, and provide $50 million a year to help the treatment workforce pay off their student loan debt. Blueprint Recovery Center is working hard to combat the opioid epidemic in communities in New Hampshire and around the region. Learn more about our Levels of Care that can support you throughout your journey in recovery. To get help, let go, and let’s chat.