The New Hampshire Senate announced it passed bills to combat the heroin and opioid crisis.
According to lawmakers, the bills strengthens penalties for fentanyl possession and distribution, provides a uniform standard for insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment, strengthens the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (requires schools to include drug and alcohol education as part of its curriculum), and creates a commission to examine the state’s use of Narcan.
“The people of New Hampshire have been calling for the legislature to act in order to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic and Senate Democrats are pleased that the Senate has worked to expedite this legislation,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn. “As we have maintained throughout the special session and Task Force process, there are many items that have broad, bipartisan support that could be moved on a fast timeline and I urge our colleagues in the House to get these bills to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible.”
New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan issued this statement following the passage of these bills:
“The heroin and opioid crisis remains the most pressing public health and public safety issue facing our state, and the need for ongoing action remains urgent. These bills are an important step forward that will give patients, providers, parents and law enforcement better tools in the fight against heroin and opioid abuse, and I applaud the full Senate for their strong bipartisan support of these measures. There remains broad, bipartisan support for several other measures considered by the legislature’s task force over the past couple of months, as well as bipartisan recognition that reauthorization of the New Hampshire Health Care Protection Program is critical to expanding treatment capacity. I will continue to focus on working with members of both parties to strengthen our efforts to combat this horrible epidemic.”
The Task Force was created to stem the heroin and opioid epidemic in New Hampshire.