WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), hosted the second meeting of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Evolving and Emerging Threats Committee. In the meeting, Dr. Gupta and committee members representing federal, state, and local governments, as well as the private sector, academia, and non-governmental organizations, discussed the emergence of fentanyl adulterated with xylazine in the illicit drug supply. Committee members also discussed the progress made in addressing previously declared emerging threats like methamphetamine.
Xylazine is a veterinary tranquilizer which is increasingly showing up in black market sales of synthetic opioids (in particular as an adulterant of fentanyl). ONDCP discussed the available data on xylazine, and the Committee Members discussed their observations on the use of this drug based on their areas of expertise.
In his remarks to the committee members, Dr. Gupta discussed the current state of the overdose epidemic that has claimed more than 107,000 lives according to CDC’s latest provisional drug overdose death data and the Administration’s response to address addiction and the overdose epidemic, as well as emerging trends. Specifically, he described ONDCP’s National Drug Control Strategy, which delivers on the call to action in President Biden’s Unity Agenda through a whole-of-government approach to beat the overdose epidemic.
The Committee also heard updates from America’s Poison Control Centers, received an update on the implementation of ONDCP’s Plan to Address Methamphetamine Supply, Use, and Consequences, and discussed drug overdose trends.
Read about the Committee’s first meeting in June here.
Read about Dr. Gupta’s earlier listening session with public health and public safety leaders on fentanyl adulterated with xylazine here.
Read the criteria for designating evolving and emerging drug threats here.