Jeanne Shaheen

Remarks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention - July 25, 2016

Jeanne Shaheen
July 25, 2016— Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2016 Democratic National Convention
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Thank you, delegates!

And thank you, Pam Livengood, for sharing your family’s story here today. I applaud your courage.

Democrats stand with you, your family, and all families struggling with addiction.

And President Hillary Clinton will stand with you and we will win this fight together.

The opioid and heroin epidemic is ravaging communities all across this country. It’s a crisis that affects old and young, rich and poor, men and women, Democrats and Republicans. And it will take all of us working together to defeat it.

Across my home state of New Hampshire, the awful toll rose each year – 192 overdoses in 2013, 326 fatalities in 2014, and 433 fatalities in 2015.

These statistics tell the story of a staggering epidemic. But statistics can’t fully capture the profound human toll.

It’s not only thousands of individual lives that have been destroyed, entire communities are being devastated.

Hillary Clinton sees the epidemic and its terrific toll because she came to New Hampshire not to talk but to listen.

And she heard stories like Pam Livengood’s story.

She heard stories like the one I recently heard about a young man full of promise, on his way to college when he suffered a sports injury, got addicted to pain killers, switched to heroin, and now instead of living on the freshman quad, he’s living on the streets, panhandling for his next fix.

Hillary heard how addicts are being turned away from treatment facilities due to a lack of resources. And Hillary heard from law enforcement stretched to their limit dealing with substance abuse.

She knows that drug counselors and police officers and the other incredible people on the front lines of the battle are heroes. They’re doing amazing work but they need our help.

More than 47,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2014. Hillary Clinton knows we cannot continue on this path.

She knows because during this campaign she listened in New Hampshire and across the country. She listened, she learned, and she put together a plan to treat this like the health emergency that it is and to deploy the necessary resources to fight it.

Her plan would invest in some very simple goals: Empower communities to prevent drug use among teenagers. Ensure every person suffering from addiction can obtain comprehensive treatment. Ensure that all first responders carry Narcan, which could stop overdoses from becoming fatal.

And prioritize treatment over prison for low level and nonviolent offenses so we can end the era of mass incarceration.

Early this year, I introduced an emergency funding bill in the Senate to pay for policing, prevention, treatment, and recovery. But sadly it was defeated by Republicans.

Donald Trump certainly doesn’t have a plan to deal with this health epidemic that’s gripped our country. In fact, Donald Trump doesn’t seem to know what’s happening outside of Trump Tower and he seems completely uninterested in finding out. How can Trump represent America when he doesn’t even take the time to know America?

We need a president who listens, who learns, who has empathy, and who wants the same opportunities for all children that she’s had, who wants an America where we go forward together.

We need President Hillary Clinton!