ONDCP Director Meets with New Hampshire Elected Officials, Public Health Leaders, and Law Enforcement as Part of Biden-Harris Administration’s Unity Agenda Strategy to Beat the Overdose Epidemic
Dr. Gupta heard from leaders on the frontlines of the overdose epidemic and discussed the Administration’s newly announced funding of $1.5 billion for states and territories working to address addiction and prevent overdoses
MANCHESTER, NH – Today, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), traveled to New Hampshire where he met with federal and state officials, as well as public health leaders and law enforcement officials addressing addiction and the overdose epidemic, and working to reduce the supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl. During his trip, Dr. Gupta discussed President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy and newly announced funding of $1.5 billion through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program. This funding delivers on the Strategy by providing states like New Hampshire with resources to expand evidence-based treatment, prevent overdoses through interventions like naloxone, and save lives.
“President Biden called on the Nation to come together to beat the opioid epidemic as part of his Unity Agenda and introduced a comprehensive National Drug Control Strategy to help us reach that goal,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta. “In New Hampshire, I was glad to meet with the federal delegation, state officials, public health leaders, and law enforcement officials on the front lines of the overdose epidemic and hear about collaborations underway to address addiction and the overdose epidemic. To support these efforts, President Biden announced nearly $1.5 billion in funding, including over $28 million for New Hampshire. This funding will help close the substance use disorder treatment gap and expand access to naloxone to prevent overdoses, while we also work to reduce the supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl and dismantle drug trafficking.”
“Rates of substance use are alarmingly high in New Hampshire and across the country, especially in the wake of the pandemic. ONDCP Director Gupta’s visit to the Granite State today was an important opportunity to discuss support for organizations and law enforcement that are leading efforts around prevention and treatment options,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “I also appreciated hearing updates from programs working on the frontlines of this crisis, like ACERT in Manchester and the Laconia Police PET model which has expanded to other communities. We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to finally turn the tide on this epidemic, and I’ll continue working with the administration and local organizations to support families impacted by addiction.”
“The substance misuse epidemic continues to ravage New Hampshire families and communities, and it is vital that we continue our state’s all-hands-on-deck approach, where we bring together law enforcement, health professionals, and community leaders to tackle this crisis,” said Senator Maggie Hassan. “I’m proud to have secured significant federal funding for our state’s response to this crisis, and I am glad that Director Gupta joined us in the Granite State to discuss how these resources are helping to connect people who are struggling with substance misuse to life-saving resources. I’ll keep working with members of both parties to expand substance misuse prevention, treatment, and recovery services in our state.”
“No New Hampshire family has been untouched by the addiction crisis. And we know there’s no silver bullet. We won’t solve this entirely on the treatment side, and we won’t solve this completely on the enforcement side. We need to see collaboration at all levels to take on this crisis and save lives,” said Congressman Chris Pappas. “One thing is clear: community-driven programs like ACERT and PET are working and paying huge dividends. I’m committed to fighting for continued federal investment in these and other efforts around prevention, enforcement, and treatment for individuals experiencing substance use disorder and their families.
“New Hampshire knows all too well the devastating consequences of the overdose crisis, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Representative Annie Kuster. “That’s why the work of the ONDCP is so important to our communities and our citizens. I’m proud to work with Director Gupta as founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force to deliver critical resources to communities across New Hampshire, and I will continue working to expand access to treatment and recovery services.”
During his trip, Dr. Gupta toured a company that participates in New Hampshire’s Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative, which empowers employers to support mental and physical health of its employees, including substance use disorder care and recovery support services. He also participated in a naloxone training with employees. Dr. Gupta also met with law enforcement officials of New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program to discuss emerging threats in the region and discuss the President’s Strategy, including recently announced historic funding to support their work to reduce the supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl.
He also participated in a roundtable with U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and U.S. Representative Chris Pappas to discuss ways the state is working to address addiction and the overdose epidemic and hear about new public health and safety initiatives created as a result of a DOJ COSSAP grant, which expanded two New Hampshire-based programs that bring together law enforcement, treatment, recovery, and community partners to address the overdose epidemic. Dr. Gupta also met with New Hampshire’s Governor Chris Sununu to discuss the state’s response, including the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative.
The Biden-Harris Administration has already taken significant actions to address addiction and the overdose epidemic based on the President’s Drug Policy Priorities for Year One.
Read the Biden-Harris Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy HERE.
Read the fact sheet on the Strategy HERE.