RELEASE: 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 106,840 predicted overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in September 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. This month’s report on 12-month rolling total data represents a steady slowing of the rate of increase in overdose deaths for the eleventh report in a row. There has been a 3.15% decrease from the 110,317 fatal drug overdoses provisionally estimated for the 12-month period ending March 2022.
“The Biden-Harris Administration has been focused on carrying out President Biden’s Strategy to beat the overdose epidemic by getting rid of barriers to addiction treatment like the X-waiver, targeting drug trafficking operations and their profits, and getting life-saving tools like naloxone into communities,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta. “As a result, we continue to see a steady decrease or flattening in overdose deaths for the sixth report in a row. To advance his Strategy and make more progress, President Biden laid out key actions during his State of the Union address that will allow us to double down on our efforts to go after drug traffickers, provide new technology to seize illicit fentanyl, and expand access to care for people with substance use disorder.”
To disrupt the supply of drugs, during the same period, from October 2021 through September 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 262,274 pounds of illicit drugs at our nation’s borders, including 14,700 pounds of illicit fentanyl and 175,410 pounds of methamphetamine. These drugs were seized before they could reach our communities. Domestically, other federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies seized at least 291,551 pounds of illicit drugs, including 26,508 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 September 2022, emergency medical services (EMS) responded to 393,595 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.
During his first State of the Union address, President Biden announced a four-part Unity Agenda focused on areas where members of both parties can come together and make additional progress for the American people including beating the opioid and overdose epidemic. Read about new actions announced to address illicit fentanyl trafficking and expand access to public health interventions that will save lives HERE.
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 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.
 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. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Updated on January 18, 2022. Available at https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/drug-seizure-statistics. Accessed on February 13, 2023.
 Total weight of select types of the cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine contraband groups, excluding CBP entries, available from the National Seizure System. U.S. Department of Justice. Accessed on February 13, 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. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. December 2021. Appendix B: National Average (“Street”) Value.