Last week, Director of National Drug Control Policy Dr. Rahul Gupta participated in a Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking delegation to Mexico City and El Paso. He was joined by fellow Commission members Congressman David Trone (MD-06) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chief of Operations Chris Evans.

The delegation discussed ongoing efforts to prevent the production and trafficking of synthetic opioids with Mexican and U.S. government officials, including U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, officials from Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, and members of Mexico’s security cabinet that included representatives from Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations, Secretariat of National Defense, Secretariat of the Navy, Secretariat for Security and Public Protection, and Mexico’s National Guard. The delegation also met with officials from Mexico’s National Commission Against Addictions to discuss illicit drug use in Mexico and the United States, and public health programs to address the issue.

Meeting with officials from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, the delegation discussed how the United States and Mexico are working together to reduce the production and trafficking of illicit substances. They also met with the U.S. Embassy’s Heroin and Fentanyl Technical Working Group, a team of representatives from DEA, Office of Foreign Assets Control, and other government agencies, which focuses on coordinating interagency activities that address the production and trafficking of heroin, fentanyl, synthetic opioids, and precursor chemicals. 

In El Paso, Texas, the delegation met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to discuss ways they are working to prevent synthetic opioid trafficking at the Paso del Norte Port of Entry. The delegation toured the pedestrian and vehicular crossing points and learned about the technology used to detect illicit substances to prevent their entry into the United States.

Throughout the trip, Dr. Gupta affirmed the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to working with partners, including Mexico, to address addiction and the overdose epidemic, and to reduce the production and trafficking of opioids and other illicit drugs which are driving overdose deaths in the United States. Dr. Gupta also discussed actions the Administration has taken to address the overdose epidemic through evidence-based prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services.

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