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 drug overdose death data involving illegally manufactured fentanyl (IMF) where xylazine was detected. The data show that the monthly percentage of illegally manufactured fentanyl-involved deaths with xylazine detected increased 276% (from 2.9% to 10.9%) between January 2019 and June 2022.

“These data show that fentanyl combined with xylazine is increasingly dangerous and deadly. This is why the Biden-Harris Administration recently designated it as an emerging threat,” said Dr. Gupta. “The Administration is working tirelessly to launch a whole-of-government approach to tackle this emerging threat head-on, protect public health and public safety, and save lives.”

Dr. Gupta designated fentanyl combined with xylazine as an emerging threat facing the United States in April of this year. The Biden-Harris Administration used this designation authority for the first time in U.S. history to proactively address this dangerous threat head-on. ONDCP has been meeting with state and local leaders and subject matter experts, including Drug Free Community grantees, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) grantees, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the American Veterinary Medical Association, States Attorneys General, law enforcement leaders, frontline health care and emergency services providers, individuals with lived experience, and more. Earlier this month, the National Institute on Drug Abuse hosted a meeting to review currently available best practices in xylazine-related testing, treatment, and wound care to inform evolving best-practices in the field. ONDCP has also been bringing together agencies and departments to urgently develop and implement a response plan for the Nation.

To support the Administration’s efforts to save lives and disrupt drug trafficking, President Biden has requested a historic $46.1 billion from Congress for national drug control programs. This 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. Taken together, these efforts will strengthen public health and public safety. Read more HERE.

To read President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy, click HERE.


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