LaBelle Testifies on State of Overdose and Addiction Epidemic, Presents Administration’s Evidence-based Approach


Washington, D.C. — Today, Regina LaBelle, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, testified before the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing entitled, “An Epidemic within a Pandemic: Understanding Substance Use and Misuse in America.” Acting Director LaBelle spoke about the state of the overdose and addiction epidemic and presented the Biden-Harris Administration’s first-year drug policy priorities, which propose specific and targeted actions to reduce overdoses and save lives.

During her opening testimony, Acting Director LaBelle said:

“The Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities have two overarching themes: First, immediately getting services to people most at risk for overdose, and second, building the addiction infrastructure necessary to meet the needs of the more than 20 million people in the US with substance use disorder…Already, Congress has provided needed resources through the American Rescue Plan, and the President’s budget request calls for a substantial investment of $10 billion – funding that will help build the type of infrastructure the Nation needs to reduce overdose deaths in the short term, while laying the groundwork for a system of care that’s long overdue…Addressing the overdose and addiction epidemic is an urgent issue and the Biden-Harris Administration’s drug policy priorities are intended to bend the curve and save lives. Working with our partners, including Members of Congress, ONDCP will take quick action to implement them.”

Background

On April 1, 2021, ONDCP released the Biden-Harris Administration’s Statement of Drug Policy Priorities for the first year, which proposes specific and targeted actions to reduce overdoses and promote prevention and recovery, expand access to quality treatment, reduce an increasingly lethal supply of illicit substances, and enhance harm reduction services, among others. These actions are critical at a moment when the latest provisional data from the CDC shows that 90,237 people died of an overdose in the 12-month period ending in September 2020, a 28.8% increase, year-over-year. The implementation of these priorities will complement President Biden’s tireless efforts to give American families the tools they need to build back better.

To view Acting Director LaBelle’s full written statement, click here.

To view the recorded hearing, click here.

To view the Biden-Harris Administration’s first-year drug policy priorities, click here.

To read more about President Biden’s budget request, click here.

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