In New Jersey, ONDCP Director Dr. Rahul Gupta Discusses How Biden-Harris Administration Is Expanding Access to Addiction Treatment in Jails and Prisons
During his trip, Dr. Gupta met with public health leaders and law enforcement officials on the frontlines of the overdose epidemic
CAMDEN, NJ – Dr. Rahul Gupta, the White House Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), traveled to New Jersey on Tuesday and Wednesday to learn about the substance use challenges facing residents of Camden, the work being done to address them, and share new actions from the Biden-Harris Administration that will help save lives. His visit built on both President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy and the President’s State of the Union commitments to beat the overdose epidemic by accelerating public health efforts and targeting drug traffickers and their profits. Specifically, at the Camden County Jail, Dr. Gupta discussed new guidance announced as a part of the State of the Union that will be provided this spring, allowing states to use Medicaid funds to provide health care services—including treatment for people with substance use disorder—to individuals in carceral settings. This guidance builds on the Administration’s ongoing commitment to ensure that every federal prison and jail offer in-house addiction treatment this year.
“New Jersey public health leaders and law enforcement officers are working every day to connect more people to treatment, prevent overdoses, disrupt drug trafficking, and save lives,” said Dr. Gupta. “Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive strategy to address the overdose epidemic and the important work happening in local communities in New Jersey and across the country, we continue to see a steady decrease or flattening in overdose deaths for the sixth report in a row. Saving lives is our North Star and we will continue to bring attention to efforts like those in Camden that help us save lives.”
While in New Jersey, Dr. Gupta also met with public health leaders and law enforcement officials on the frontlines of the overdose epidemic. At Cooper University Health Care, he discussed the importance of expanding access to medication for opioid use disorder, including the recent removal of the X-waiver. He then met with elected officials, Volunteers of America – Delaware Valley, Seton Hall University’s School of Health and Medical Sciences and College of Nursing and Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine to hear about the work being done in the state to connect more people to treatment—especially during the period of reentry from prison and jail—prevent overdoses, and save lives.
To learn more about the local work to address the illicit drug supply, Dr. Gupta also engaged with law enforcement officers of the Liberty Mid Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which is funded by ONDCP, who discussed their work to seize illicit drugs causing harm to communities and deny profits to drug trafficking operations.
During his visit, Dr. Gupta discussed President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy and other 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.
Read the Biden-Harris Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy HERE.
Read the fact sheet on the Strategy HERE.