White House Drug Control Strategy to Focus on Treatment and Trafficking

Last Tuesday, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Dr. Rahul Gupta, confirmed that the White House plans to unveil their National Drug Control Strategy in June. The strategy will be a collaboration between eighteen agencies and will focus on recovery programs and policies that address illicit drug trafficking. In an interview, Dr. Gupta said, “If it remains easier to get illicit drugs in America than treatment, we’ll never be able to bend the curve in overdoses.” The upcoming strategy aligns with previous ONDCP and Department of Health and Human Services efforts that have focused on expanding evidence-based prevention, treatment, recovery, and drug supply reduction approaches.

Articles & Resources

Bloomberg Law – Upcoming Biden Opioid Plan Will Target Treatment, Trafficking

The White House – FACT SHEET: Addressing Addiction and the Overdose Epidemic

SAMHSA Announces $25.6M in Grants Directed to Substance Use Treatment and Prevention Programs

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that it has established funding totaling $26.6 million through the Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs (SPF Rx) and Medication-Assisted Treatment – Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) grant programs. The SPF Rx grant program will provide $3 million over five years to fund awareness efforts about drug misuse, including overprescribing and the dangers of counterfeit pills and sharing medications. State agencies, territories, and tribal entities that have completed a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant plan or a similar state plan are eligible for the funds. The MAT-PDOA grant program will provide $22.6 million over five years, with at least $11 million reserved for Native American tribes, tribal organizations, or consortia, to fund efforts to expand access to medications for opioid use disorder. In a press release, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Xavier Becerra, said, “Every five minutes someone in our nation dies from an overdose. This is unacceptable. At HHS, we are committed to addressing the overdose crisis, and one of the ways we’re doing this is by expanding access to medication-assisted treatment and other effective, evidenced-based prevention and intervention strategies.”

Articles & Resources

HHS – HHS Announces Funding for Substance Use Treatment and Prevention Programs

What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the issue. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

Annals of Internal Medicine – Effects of State Opioid Prescribing Laws on Use of Opioid and Other Pain Treatments Among Commercially Insured U.S. Adults

Bloomberg Law – Biden’s Call for Mental Health Coverage Sparks Legislative Push

Congressman Hal Rogers – Congressman Rogers Secures Federal Funding to Combat Skyrocketing Overdose Rates

Congresswoman Carol Miller – ICYMI: Congresswoman Miller Op-Ed: Biden’s Open Border Worsens West Virginia’s Drug Crisis

Department of Justice – McKesson Agrees to Pay $1 Million to Resolve Recordkeeping Violations under the Controlled Substances Act

Drug and Alcohol Dependence – Impacts of a Medicaid “lock-in” program on opioid use disorder treatment and services and naloxone dispensing

House Committee on Oversight and Reform – Oversight Committee Urges DOJ and Treasury to Examine Tax Benefits Claimed by Opioid Companies for $26 Billion Settlement

Law360 – Key Opioid Cases To Watch As Massive Wave Of Trials Looms

STAT – Emergency response systems must not overlook people with substance use disorders

The Hill – Drug overdose deaths in US hit new records amid fentanyl crisis

The Pew Charitable Trusts – Barriers Limit Access to Medication for Opioid Use Disorder in Philadelphia

The Rand Corporation – A New and More Dangerous Drug Market Requires a New Approach

The Wall Street Journal – Opioid Overdose Death Rate for U.S. Black Population Is Higher Than for White

The Washington Post – Drop boxes are making it easier to get rid of old medication

UNC-Chapel Hill – Carolina researchers developing warnings for tainted street drugs

University of Chicago – Could we vaccinate against opioid addiction? with Sandra Comer and Marco Pravetoni (Ep. 88)

USC – The Role of Science in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Drug Policy

This Week’s Calendar

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Hearings to examine strengthening Federal mental health and substance use disorder programs, focusing on opportunities, challenges, and emerging issues. Wednesday, March 23rd ; 10:00 a.m.; Hearing Notice

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