CONCORD — The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has received an award notification for the second phase of the State Opioid Response Program. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will provide the first year of funding as part of a two-year, $56 million award to New Hampshire to continue the successes achieved during the State’s first two years of SOR funding, which launched the Doorway system and increased rural access to care. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) led efforts, working with Sen.Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), to secure this funding.
New Hampshire received more than $55 million during the initial phase of SOR funding. Over the past two years, New Hampshire has rapidly deployed SOR funding to establish a sustainable access and delivery system to ensure better outcomes for residents with an opioid or substance use disorder. The Doorways-NH launched on Jan. 1, 2019, to provide comprehensive, 24/7 statewide access to services and ensure that no one in New Hampshire has to travel more than 60 minutes to begin the process toward recovery.
“We are grateful for additional support from our federal partners to continue the success of all of the programs that have been stood up and enhanced, including the Doorways program,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “Since the Doorways launched, about 15,000 residents have received a clinical evaluation, referred to treatment or received naloxone. The system works, and this funding will be used to continue to ensure that these critical services will be available to help any resident seeking help for their substance use. Anyone who is experiencing substance misuse is encouraged to call 2-1-1 to get connected to people who can help.”
“According to a recent CDC survey, about 13 percent of adults have increased their use of substances during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in New Hampshire, the Doorways have remained a valuable resource for individuals and families struggling with substance misuse,” said DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette. “The Doorways continue to see increasing requests for services, with almost 1,000 residents seeking help last month alone. Our State is fortunate to have this system in place to be able to offer around the clock access to anyone in need.”
The new SOR funds will allow the State to enhance existing investments to build capacity even further with the goal to establish stability and sustainability in the long term. The Doorways will be expanding in-person 24/7 coverage in high volume regions through this funding and additional needs will also be addressed, including overnight respite, stimulant misuse and expanding recovery support services.
Sens. Shaheen and Hassan are leaders in Congress in combating the substance use disorder epidemic. They helped negotiate a bipartisan agreement in 2018 that resulted in a large national increase in opioid treatment funding through the SOR grant program over two years. Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate a 15 percent set-aside of federal funding for hardest hit states, which has helped states deeply impacted like New Hampshire. These combined efforts led to a more than tenfold increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire.