NEW DELHI, INDIA – Last week, Dr. Rahul Gupta, the White House Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), traveled to India to meet with Government of India officials, including key principals engaged in the U.S. – India Counternarcotics Working Group established to strengthen the bilateral counternarcotics relationship focused on demand reduction, regulatory, law enforcement, and multilateral issues. During his trip, Dr. Gupta also met with prevention and treatment providers working to address addiction.
“The partnership between the United States and India is critical as we collectively work to address global drug trafficking and use,” said Dr. Gupta. “Together, through targeted efforts to expand access to evidence-based care for substance use disorder and disrupt the global flow of illicit drugs, we can create safe, healthy, prosperous communities for both nations.”
On Thursday, he met with Dr. Virendra Kumar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment to discuss India’s priorities in prevention and treatment of substance use disorder. Dr. Gupta also met with India’s Principal Scientific Adviser, Prof. Ajay Sood, to discuss the importance of expansion to telehealth to increase access to treatment. During his engagement with Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Gupta discussed opportunities for collaboration regarding treatment and building the treatment workforce. In his meeting with Director General Satya Narayan Pradhan of India’s Narcotics Control Board, Dr. Gupta discussed emerging drug use and trafficking trends and the importance of a whole-of-government approach to counternarcotics. Dr. Gupta also met with Mohan Kumar Singh, Director General of India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, to discuss trends in illicit drug trafficking and ongoing disruption and seizure efforts.
On Friday, Dr. Gupta visited the Society for Promotion of Youth & Masses, which provides treatment and recovery services for justice-involved youth and leads a youth substance use prevention campaign in schools nationwide. He also visited All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, where he spoke with faculty about drug demand reduction efforts, including treatment services, and research occurring at the Centre.
While in India, Dr. Gupta also traveled to Varanasi where he spoke at the 7th Ideal Village Conference about the importance of collaboration between both countries to address substance use and trafficking.
Read the Biden-Harris Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy HERE.
Read the fact sheet on the Strategy HERE.