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 107,477 predicted overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in August 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 tenth month in a row, and a decrease in 12-month rolling totals for the fifth month in a row. There has been a 2.57% decrease from the 110,315 fatal drug overdoses provisionally estimated for the 12-month period ending March 2022.
“For the last two years, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic steps to remove barriers to addiction treatment, go after drug traffickers and their profits, and get more naloxone into communities. As a result, today’s data continue to show a decrease in overdose deaths for the fifth month in a row,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta. “We must build on these efforts through the President’s Strategy to save lives and make our communities healthy and safe.”
To disrupt the supply of drugs, during the same period, from September 2021 through August 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 267,222 pounds of illicit drugs at our nation’s borders, including 13,581 pounds of illicit fentanyl and 172,623 pounds of methamphetamine, before they could reach our communities.  Domestically, federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies seized at least 294,209 pounds of illicit drugs, including 23,248 pounds of fentanyl. This represents nearly $3 billion denied to drug producers and traffickers.
The Administration is also supporting access to naloxone, which can reverse opioid-related poisonings. In the 12-months ending August 2022, emergency medical services (EMS) responded to 396,312 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 supply of illicit drugs like the fentanyl-related substances 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 January 11, 2023.
 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 January 11, 2023.
 Total weight of select types of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine excluding CBP entries available from the National Seizure System data accessed on January 11, 2023.
 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.