Dr. Rahul Gupta Releases Statement on CDC’s New Overdose Death Data
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 107,735 predicted overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in July 2022. Most of these deaths are caused by illicit synthetic drugs like clandestinely manufactured fentanyl and methamphetamine, often in combination with other drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Today’s data represents a steady slowing of the rate of increase in overdose deaths for the ninth month in a row, and a decrease in 12-month rolling totals for the fourth month in a row. There has been a 2.27% decrease from the 110,236 fatal drug overdoses provisionally estimated for the 12-month period ending March 2022.
“While we continue to see a flattening in overdose deaths, the Biden-Harris Administration remains focused on getting more people with addiction connected to the care they need, preventing fatal overdoses with naloxone, stopping illicit fentanyl from moving into communities, and going after drug traffickers’ profits through targeted sanctions,” said Dr. Gupta. “To strengthen our Nation’s response, this past week, we launched a first-of-its-kind data dashboard to track non-fatal overdoses – a leading predictor for a future fatal overdose – that will help first responders, service providers, and policymakers save lives. All of these actions are critical to beating the overdose epidemic.”
To disrupt the commercial supply of drugs, during the same period, from August 2021 through July 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized approximately 273,247 pounds of illicit drugs at our nation’s borders. These drugs were seized before they could reach America’s communities and includes included 12,412 pounds of illicit fentanyl and 183,759 pounds of methamphetamine.  Domestically, other federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies seized at least 293,100 pounds of illicit drugs, including 24,681 pounds of fentanyl. The total weight of these drugs seized at our borders and domestically represents at least $2.9 billion denied to drug producers and traffickers, according to High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) price estimates.
The Administration is also supporting access to naloxone, which can reverse opioid-related poisonings. In the 12-months ending July 2022, emergency medical services (EMS) responded to 393,959 activations nationwide that involved the administration of naloxone. While this does not capture all naloxone administered (naloxone is often administered outside of the EMS system by community members or other health care providers), the majority of patients received a single dose of naloxone and had not received naloxone prior to EMS arrival at the scene.
The Biden-Harris Administration has taken significant actions to address addiction and substance use in the U.S. by expanding access to evidence-based prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services and disrupting the commercial supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl driving the overdose epidemic. Read about those actions here.
To view the Non-Fatal Opioid Overdose Dashboard, click HERE.
To read President Biden’s Strategy, click HERE.
To read a fact sheet on President Biden’s Strategy, click HERE.
To read about the key actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to address addiction and the overdose epidemic, click HERE.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Statistics Rapid Release: Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm. Accessed on December 12, 2022.
 Total weight of cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine seizures for all components and regions available from U.S Customs and Border Protection. Drug Seizure Statistics. Department of Homeland Security. Updated November 14, 2022. Available at https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/drug-seizure-statistics. Accessed on December 12, 2022.
 Total weight of select types of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine excluding CBP entries available from the National Seizure System data accessed on December 12, 2022.
 Application of specific conversion metrics applied to the combined totals of each drug type available from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Intelligence and Laboratories and Scientific Services. Illicit Drug Seizure Conversion Tool. Department of Homeland Security. December 2021. Appendix B: National Average (“Street”) Value.