Nov 23, 2015 5:38 PM

Landrigan: NH's US senators go to bat to support federal aid to battle opioid crisis


New Hampshire’s senators are going to bat in New Hampshire’s fight against the opioid crisis.

"It is ravaging families; it is killing people, we lose about a person a day from drug overdoses, more people than we lose in traffic accidents," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, said.

"It would increase support to those programs in New Hampshire we seen make a difference for people."

The Democrat’s solution?

A $600 million spending bill with nearly half of it going to treatment and prevention, $225 million for law enforcement, $50 million to beef up drug monitoring and $35 million for federal research.

"We need to treat it as a national emergency and that’s what this bill would do," she said.

New Hampshire’s other senator, Republican Kelly Ayotte, chimed in with a letter to federal officials asking them to declare the problem a national emergency.

She said, "Such a declaration, which you have the authority to make, would allow New Hampshire and other states across the country grappling with this epidemic to have the resources they need in a more timely manner.’’

And Shaheen agreed with Gov. Maggie Hassan that there is a problem with doctors proscribing to much pain medication that becomes addicting.

"The real challenges we have seen in New Hampshire is doctors are writing prescriptions for opioids; people are getting too many pills as a result of those prescriptions. We’ve got to reduce that,’’ Shaheen said.

Senator Shaheen said she agrees the biggest thing the federal government could do would be to stop the flow of drugs into this country."


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