More than half a million dollars is head to the state to help Seacoast communities hit hard by the opioid epidemic. According to a statement from U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH and Maggie Hassan, D-NH and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, NH-01, $502,729 in mental health and substance abuse service grants are being made by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The grant will fund Greater Seacoast Community Health’s efforts to expand medication-assisted treatment for vulnerable populations in Somersworth and the Seacoast region.
“Expanding medication-assisted treatment for Granite Staters struggling with substance use disorder is a significant step to strengthen our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire,” says Shaheen. “This funding will provide critical resources to Greater Seacoast Community Health, increasing treatment options for those who need it most. We need every tool at our disposal to turn the tide of the opioid crisis, so I’m very pleased by these additional grants to help our health care providers. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue to fight for more federal support for Granite Staters on the frontlines of this epidemic.”
“We are grateful to the delegation for this funding as it makes a big impact on our capacity to create more access to much needed treatment and recovery services,” says Janet Laatsch, CEO of Greater Seacoast Community Health. “This level of support means that we can expand our street outreach efforts to more of the homeless population, pregnant woman and women with dependent children, veterans, people struggling with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders, and people involved with the criminal justice system.
Greater Seacoast Community Health was established when the Goodwin Community Health Center, in Somersworth, and Families First, in Portsmouth, merged in January, 2018. The organization of Federally Qualified Health Centers serves 16,500 patients at clinics in Somersworth, Portsmouth, and Seabrook, providing primary care, prenatal care, breast and cervical cancer screenings, MAT, and intensive outpatient treatment for substance use disorder.
As members of the Common Sense Caucus, Senators Shaheen and Hassan helped secure an additional $6 billion to combat the opioid crisis in the budget deal signed into law in February, and helped ensure that a dedicated portion of that funding would be set aside specifically for states hardest hit by the opioid crisis; including New Hampshire.
“We know that to turn the tide in the deadly opioid epidemic, individuals with substance use disorder need access to evidence-based treatment options, and that’s what this funding will support,” says Shea-Porter. “Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is critical in our state’s fight to combat the opioid epidemic, and we rely on organizations like Greater Seacoast Community Health to administer MAT programs.”
“This federal grant will support those efforts by expanding access to medication-assisted treatment for some of our most vulnerable Granite Staters under the care of Greater Seacoast Community Health. I’ll keep fighting to secure additional resources so that those seeking treatment have access to the care they need to get their lives back on track,” says Hassan.