As Prepared For Delivery:
Thank you, Second Gentleman Emhoff, for your passion and leadership on this issue and so many other issues that are critical to America.
Good morning, everyone. Today, as we mark International Overdose Awareness Day, we take time to reflect on the toll that the overdose crisis has taken on our communities.
In 2022, over 100,000 lives were lost to overdose.
Behind each of these lives are friends, families, and communities torn apart by overdoses.
This crisis does not discriminate.
It impacts Red states and Blue states, urban and suburban communities.
That’s why President Biden named beating the opioid crisis and overdose epidemic a key pillar in his Unity Agenda for the nation.
We know that overdose is preventable.
Addiction is treatable.
And we can disrupt the flow of illicit fentanyl in America.
Since taking office, President Biden has taken a number of critical actions to save lives and make our communities safer.
As one crucial example, the FDA approved two naloxone products, a lifesaving opioid reversal medication, for over-the-counter, nonprescription use.
The first of these over-the-counter naloxone products could be available at retail pharmacies as early as next week.
Additionally, the President has dramatically expanded funding for substance use disorder prevention and treatment to states, territories, and Tribal Nations.
And he was proud to sign legislation that enables more health care professionals to prescribe the proven therapy buprenorphine. Previously, providers had to go through a burdensome special registration process.
We’ve got more work to do to address this epidemic plaguing our communities.
That’s why today, I’m pleased to join my colleagues to announce new actions designed to strengthen prevention, support treatment and recovery efforts, and disrupt the illicit drug supply.
Now, I will turn it over to Dr. Gupta, who has been a critical leader in our collective efforts to reduce opioid overdoses and save lives.