BALTIMORE, MD – Earlier this week, Dr. Rahul Gupta, the White House Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), traveled to Baltimore to meet with leaders working to address addiction and the overdose epidemic. During his visit, Dr. Gupta met with public health leaders and law enforcement officials on the frontlines of the overdose epidemic, as well as researchers and clinicians working to drive evidence-based responses to prevent overdoses and save lives. He also discussed President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy and key actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to remove barriers to substance use disorder care, prevent overdoses, support people in recovery, and reduce the supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl.
“Hearing from the public health leaders and law enforcement officials on the frontlines of the overdose crisis in Baltimore and places across the country helps inform our response at the federal level. I am grateful to the men and women of Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Emergency Department, and Washington/Baltimore HIDTA for their continued work to connect more Americans with substance use disorder to treatment and save lives from the threats of illicit drugs like fentanyl.” said Dr. Gupta.
“The Johns Hopkins Hospital is committed to the care and treatment of patients with substance use disorder. A great deal of progress has been made across the country and in our own health system over the past five years to improve the clinical methods and processes to treat this complex disease. A cornerstone of our approach is creating systems to respond without judgment to patients who present for care in our emergency department with skilled assessment, engagement, medication-assisted treatment and linkage to outpatient care. We are grateful for Dr. Gupta’s interest in our work, and for his office’s commitment to grow and improve the ability of our nation’s health system to provide the very best in evidence-based care to patients with substance use disorder,” said Peter M. Hill, M.D., senior vice president of medical affairs for the Johns Hopkins Health System and vice president of medical affairs for The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
During his first stop in Baltimore, Dr. Gupta toured the Johns Hopkins Hospital Emergency Department and sat down with emergency department providers to talk about their critical work to respond to the overdose crisis by treating people with substance use disorder and connecting them to long-term care.
Dr. Gupta also joined substance use researchers at the Johns Hopkins University for a roundtable to hear about their latest research on addiction policy and highlight the importance of data systems that inform public health policy, including our Nation’s response to the overdose epidemic.
Dr. Gupta also visited the REACH opioid treatment program to talk about their outpatient substance use recovery programs that are designed to deliver treatment to individuals in the community.
He also met with law enforcement officers at a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) roundtable with the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA who provided a briefing on several topics including their Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), naloxone distribution efforts, A Division for Advancing Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT), and community outreach strategies aimed at preventing overdoses and saving lives. Following the roundtable, Dr. Gupta and law enforcement officials also released new HIDTA domestic seizure data.
Read the Biden-Harris Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy HERE.
Read the fact sheet on the Strategy HERE.