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Guinta, Kuster Team Up in Effort to Address State's Drug Crisis

Rep. Frank Guinta and Rep. Ann Kuster are working on a bill to get more substance abuse funds to N.H.

Congressman Frank Guinta and Congresswoman Ann Kuster are crossing the aisle in an effort to tackle New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic.

In a roundtable event in Concord on Friday the two lawmakers talked about their new bill aimed to bring more federal dollars for substance abuse treatment to New Hampshire.

The legislation also includes funds for possible drug courts, as well as money to better assist police officers combating this issue on the ground.

But Guinta said after hearing from community leaders about this topic, he realizes the bill needs some more work, especially when it comes to addressing the drug supply from Mexico. 

“We tend to talk about securing the border from an immigration stand point. What is lacking in that conversation is securing the border from a law enforcement and drug and crime related standpoint,” Guinta said.

Kuster said any legislative solution needs to include education about the risk of drug use for prescribers, as well as in the classroom. 

“We need to start this conversation at a very young age it needs to be in there with health and nutrition,” she said.

But the focus of the bill, the two agreed, should be getting more treatment beds for substance abuse. Currently, New Hampshire is ranked the 49th worst state in treatment access. 

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