As the Biden-Harris Administration works to fully implement President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy, U.S. is seeing continued progress after a full year of flattening overdose deaths, halting period of rapid increases from 2019 – 2021

Washington, D.C. – Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta issued the following statement regarding the CDC’s release of provisional drug overdose death data, which show a continued flattening of drug overdose deaths throughout 2022 and early 2023, halting a years-long period of rapid increases from 2019 – 2021.

“Saving lives is the North Star of President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy, and it drives every policy decision we make as we work urgently and aggressively to address the opioid epidemic. As a result, our nation is finally seeing early indications of success in the overdose rate that we must sustain with even more urgent action,” said Dr. Gupta. “Every life saved means one less grieving family and community. There is hope, there is progress, and there is an unwavering commitment from the Biden-Harris Administration to use this inflection point to continue reducing drug overdose deaths and save lives.”

This latest CDC report shows 109,940 predicted overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in February 2023. 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.

To disrupt the supply of drugs, during the same period, from March 2022 through February 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 245,000 pounds of illicit drugs at our nation’s borders, including more than 21,000 pounds of illicit fentanyl and 153,000 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 258,000 pounds of illicit drugs, including more than 34,000 pounds of fentanyl. This represents nearly $2 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 February 2023, emergency medical services (EMS) responded to 396,575 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.

To advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan to beat the opioid epidemic as part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda, significant actions have been taken to address 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.

To read about the National Response Plan the White House released yesterday to address the emerging threat of fentanyl combined with xylazine, click HERE.


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