Oversight of Substance Use Treatment System

TAKE ACTIONOversight of Substance Use Treatment System


Over the last decade, New Hampshire’s substance use treatment system has grown significantly as the addiction crisis has spread. Without oversight by the State, the system is largely unregulated, leaving patients to navigate an uneven treatment landscape with programs and services that vary in quality across the state.

SB 495 aims to protect the health of individuals battling addiction by strengthening oversight and ensuring high quality, evidence-based services all across the treatment system.

About the Bill

SB 495 proposes to improve New Hampshire’s substance use treatment system by strengthening patient protections and ensuring high quality services. SB 495 includes two key parts: 

  • A certification requirement for outpatient substance use treatment provider organizations that would require them to meet certain treatment standards and become certified by the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services in order to provide services.
  • Creation of a Behavioral Health Specialist position within the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Ombudsman that would be dedicated to investigating reports of abuse or misconduct by treatment providers. This would also make it easier for patients, families, and staff to report concerns.

Bill Status

Although SB 495 passed the Senate, the House of Representatives voted to refer the bill to Interim Study. This means that SB 495 will not advance this session. 

However, on May 23, components of this legislation were added to another bill that is advancing in the state legislature, HB 1079. Since HB 1079 was amended by the Senate, it was sent back to the House, which requested a Committee of Conference to work through the differences.

The Committee of Conference did not include the components of SB 495 into their final bill, meaning the legislation will not advance this session. We will continue to work with partners around the state to look to bring this legislation back next session. 

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