Today, on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we remember the tens of thousands of American lives lost each year to drug overdoses and violent, drug-related crimes. We reaffirm our commitment to end the drug abuse epidemic that is plaguing our communities and harming our loved ones, and especially our youth.
Since 1999, the rate of opioid overdose deaths in the United States has quadrupled. In many cases, other illicit drugs and pharmaceutical products contribute to these fatalities. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death, responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in the United States in 2015 alone.
We will not stand idle as our families are devastated, our communities are hollowed out, and our Nation’s future is diminished. My proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget supports $27.8 billion in drug control efforts, including support for state and local law enforcement, drug treatment facilities, and prevention programs. We have also started the process to strengthen enforcement at our southern border to prevent drugs and gangs from coming into our country. I have already taken several executive actions directing my Administration to protect our communities: from dismantling transnational criminal organizations to creating a special commission that targets opioid drug addiction.
Thankfully, treatment options for people facing addiction have never been better. The evidence supporting medication-assisted treatment gives us reasons to be optimistic, as we work to expand access to treatment and long-term recovery support programs.
We resolve today to bring justice to those who threaten the well-being of our people, while we pledge to offer hope to those who have become addicted. Our Nation will continue to collaborate with our international partners to restrict the production and trafficking of illicit drugs around the globe. Together, we will end the scourge of drug abuse and restore safety and peace to our communities.