The United States and Mexico Must Build on Progress to Address the Production and Trafficking of Fentanyl and Fentanyl-related Analogues


Washington, D.C. — Today, the Office of National Drug Control Policy is announcing that in 2020, poppy cultivation and potential heroin production in Mexico decreased for the third consecutive year, reaching the lowest totals since 2014. The annual United States Government estimate of “Mexican Poppy Cultivation and Heroin Production” found poppy cultivation in Mexico decreased by 24 percent, from 30,400 hectares in 2019 to 23,200 hectares in 2020. Opium poppy cultivation throughout Mexico has fallen 47 percent since a record high in 2017.

Similarly, potential pure production decreased by 24 percent, from 78 metric tons in 2019 to 59 metric tons in 2020.

“The sustained decrease in poppy cultivation and potential heroin production underlines the importance of maintaining strong United States-Mexico cooperation on drug policy,” said Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy Regina LaBelle. “The Biden-Harris Administration will build on this progress by investing historic amounts in public health strategies at home to reduce drug use and demand. Working with Mexico, we look forward to building on this success to address the production and trafficking of fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, and methamphetamine.”

President López Obrador has identified substance use disorder as a public health priority in Mexico, and has emphasized the need for social programs that improve access to treatment and prevention. His investments in alternative development measures afford farmers the opportunity to attain alternative livelihoods. The United States and Mexico have also begun a review of bilateral security cooperation to ensure bilateral efforts are effective at reducing violence, targeting illicit financial networks, and combating the criminal business model of drug trafficking networks. These actions are critical to sustaining the progress made on reducing poppy cultivation and heroin production.

President Biden has also identified addiction and overdose as a public health priority in the United States. In its first-year drug policy priorities, the Biden-Harris Administration outlined a strategy that includes expanding access to prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services in order to curb the overdose epidemic. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan was a down payment on these priorities, investing nearly $4 billion in behavioral health and substance use disorder supports. The President’s FY22 budget request calls for $10.7 billion to support research, prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services, with targeted investments to meet the needs of populations at greatest risk for overdose and substance use disorder. The budget also includes significant investments in reducing the supply of illicit substances.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to working together with Mexico as neighbors and partners in meeting our shared challenge of drug trafficking and use.

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