New Hampshire will soon see a more than seven-fold increase in federal funds aimed at combatting the opioid crisis, up from about $3 million to $23 million for the fiscal year ending September 30.
The money comes from $3 billion in additional funds for the crisis included in the federal budget deal negotiated in March. Details of how those funds would be distributed to states were confirmed Thursday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).
“This significant increase in funding for treatment is long overdue and will undoubtedly help save lives across our state,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen in a statement. “Far too many Granite Staters are suffering because they can’t get the treatment they desperately need as demand far outweighs supply.”
Shaheen and Sen. Maggie Hassan were both members of a bipartisan group calling themselves “the common sense caucus” that helped negotiate the funds as part of the federal budget process earlier this year.
“While this increased funding is critical, we also know that it will ultimately take far more funding to truly turn the tide of this deadly epidemic,” said Hassan in a statement.
The state’s congressional delegation has long argued the formula federal officials use to distribute money to states has been weighted against New Hampshire. That formula has favored higher population states, they say, causing New Hampshire to lose out even though the number of overdoses per capita here is one of the highest in the nation.
To that end, the delegation cheered a shift in the formula to more heavily weight mortality rates.