RELEASE: Dr. Rahul Gupta Releases Statement on CDC’s New Overdose Death Data
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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 107,689 predicted overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in October 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 twelfth report in a row. There has been a 2.42% decrease from the 110,360 fatal drug overdoses provisionally estimated for the 12-month period ending March 2022.
“For seven reports in a row, we have seen a steady flattening or decrease in overdose deaths because of historic actions taken by the Biden-Harris Administration. But the number of people we are losing to an overdose is unacceptable, which is why the President announced in his State of the Union Address that he is accelerating his Administration’s crackdown on fentanyl trafficking and expanding public health efforts to save lives,” said Dr. Gupta. “The Administration remains focused on fully implementing President Biden’s whole-of-government strategy to beat the overdose epidemic and save lives.”
To disrupt the supply of drugs, during the same period, from November 2021 through October 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 260,000 pounds of illicit drugs at our nation’s borders, including 15,589 pounds of illicit fentanyl and 166,807 pounds of methamphetamine. These drugs were seized before they could reach our communities. Domestically, other federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies seized more than 290,000 pounds of illicit drugs, including 27,573 pounds of fentanyl. This represents nearly $2 billion denied to drug producers and traffickers.
During his State of the Union Address last month, the President announced that his Administration is accelerating these efforts by:
- Providing 123 new large-scale scanners along the Southwest Border to stop more fentanyl from getting into the U.S.
- Stopping more packages from being shipped into the U.S. with fentanyl and the material used to make it.
- Leading a sustained diplomatic push that will address fentanyl and it supply chain abroad.
- Working with Congress to make permanent tough penalties on suppliers of fentanyl.
- Expanding access to evidence-based prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support.
Read about new actions announced to address illicit fentanyl trafficking and expand access to public health and public safety interventions that will save lives HERE.
The Administration is also supporting access to naloxone, which can reverse opioid-related poisonings. In the 12-months ending October 2022, emergency medical services (EMS) responded to 393,637 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.
This month, President Biden released his FY 2024 budget request to Congress, which calls for a historic investment of $46.1 billion for National Drug Control Program agencies. The FY2024 budget request continues the Biden Administration’s trend of calling for dramatic investments to address the overdose epidemic driven by fentanyl, and represents a $5.0 billion increase from the FY2022 request and a $2.3 billion increase over the FY2023 enacted level. The FY2024 budget also includes an increase in funding for efforts to reduce the supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl and combat drug trafficking. It also includes an increase in funding to support the expansion of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services. Read more HERE.
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 to enhance public health and public safety outcomes.
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.
 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 February 10, 2022. Available at https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/drug-seizure-statistics. Accessed on March 14, 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 March 14, 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 2022. Appendix B: National Average (“Street”) Value.