WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), issued the following statement regarding the CDC’s release of provisional drug overdose death data, which show 109,247 predicted overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in March 2022. By comparison, the 12-month rolling total for the period ending in February 2022 was 109,442.
In addition to the decrease in the number of predicted deaths, the rate of increase has also continued to slow in recent months. Whereas the rate of increase for the 12-month period ending in December 2021 was 16.3% when compared to the 12 months ending in December 2020, the rate of increase now stands at 9.7%.
“For far too many years, the overdose epidemic has been destroying American lives and livelihoods. The data released by the CDC today show that while a drug poisoning death roughly every five minutes in the US is still far too high, we are beginning to see a slowing of the rate of increase. As part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda, we remain committed to fully implementing the National Drug Control Strategy in order to make meaningful progress and save lives.”
In April, President Biden sent his Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy to Congress, which delivers on the call to action in President Biden’s Unity Agenda through a whole-of-government approach to beat the overdose epidemic. It proposes targeted actions to expand access to evidence-based prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services while reducing the supply of drugs like fentanyl.