ONDCP Director Dr. Rahul Gupta Visits St. Paul and Minneapolis to Meet with Leaders on the Front Lines of the Overdose Epidemic
St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN – Last week, Dr. Rahul Gupta, the White House Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), traveled to St. Paul and Minneapolis to meet with leaders working to address addiction and the overdose epidemic. During his visit, Dr. Gupta met with state and city elected officials, 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 public health leaders, community members, and law enforcement officials on the frontlines of the overdose crisis in Minnesota and places across the country helps inform our response at the federal level,” said Dr. Gupta. “This crisis knows no bounds, and has been disproportionately affecting Black and American Indian populations, including in Minnesota. That’s why it’s so important to continue efforts at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels to address this crisis, which so far have resulted in a steady decrease or flattening in overdose deaths for eight straight months.”
While in Minnesota, Dr. Gupta met with public health leaders and substance use disorder providers on the frontlines of the overdose epidemic. During his first visit, he addressed the Administrators in Medicine Annual Meeting to discuss the critical role that the medical community plays in preventing overdoses and expanding treatment. He also spoke with faculty and researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School to highlight the importance of data systems informing public health policy. He then met with the Ramsey County Opioid Prevention and Unified Services Coalition, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, and Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flannagan to hear about the work being done to prevent substance use disorder, improve access to treatment, and stop drug trafficking in Minnesota, as well as federal resources being sent to the state to help with both the public health and public safety response.
Dr. Gupta also joined medical professionals at the Federation of State Medical Boards 111th Annual Meeting to discuss the role that medical regulation plays in expanding access to treatment, recovery, and harm reduction services that improve the health and safety of our communities.
In support of the National Drug Control Strategy, President Biden has called for a historic investment of $46.1 billion for National Drug Control Program agencies. The FY24 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 FY22 request and a $2.3 billion increase over the FY23 enacted level. The FY24 budget also includes an increase in funding for efforts to reduce the supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl and stop drug trafficking. It also includes an increase in funding to support the expansion of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services.
Read about President Biden’s FY2024 National Drug Control Budget request HERE.
Read the Biden-Harris Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy HERE.
Read the fact sheet on the Strategy HERE.