Today, Vice President Kamala Harris convened Attorneys General from seven states and the District of Columbia for a conversation about federal and state efforts to disrupt the illicit fentanyl supply chain and expand access to care for individuals at risk of an overdose. White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta moderated the discussion and they were joined by White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Tom Perez. The roundtable followed actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to tackle the opioid and overdose epidemic, including releasing a National Response Plan to address the emerging threat of fentanyl combined with xylazine, a non-opioid that is involved in 1 of 9 overdoses. The Vice President also announced nearly $50 million in grants to help address different facets of the nation’s overdose epidemic will be awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration tomorrow.
The Vice President thanked the state Attorneys General for their leadership and critical partnership in expanding substance use prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services in their states. She spoke about the Administration’s historic investments to drive down overdoses, and progress made over the past two years to crack down on fentanyl trafficking and expand access to care.
The officials discussed key tools developed and supported by the Administration that states can use right away to help save lives. Those include the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program, the xylazine National Response Plan, key state model laws to address substance use disorder and overdoses, the non-fatal opioid overdose tracker, and key announcements from the Bureau of Prisons and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services aimed at expanding treatment for substance use disorder for people who are incarcerated. These tools all support the President’s National Drug Control Strategy.
Together, the Vice President, Dr. Gupta, Director Perez, and the state Attorneys General identified opportunities to enhance federal and state collaboration to beat the fentanyl and opioid epidemic. The Administration has encouraged state Attorneys General to coordinate with regional HIDTA Programs to disrupt the commercial activities of transnational criminal organizations and maximize federal, state, and opioid settlement funds for evidence-based programs that save lives and expand access to overdose reversal medications.
- Attorney General Kris Mayes (Arizona)
- Attorney General Kathy Jennings (Delaware)
- Attorney General Brian Schwalb (District of Columbia)
- Attorney General Aaron Ford (Nevada)
- Attorney General Letitia James (New York)
- Attorney General Josh Stein (North Carolina)
- Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (Oregon)
- Attorney General Michelle Henry (Pennsylvania)
- Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Dr. Rahul Gupta
- White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Tom Perez