Washington, D.C. – Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta released a statement on the implementation of the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Xylazine Response Plan. Earlier this year, Dr. Gupta used an executive authority for the first time in the nation’s history to designate fentanyl combined with xylazine as an emerging threat to the United States and proactively address this dangerous threat head-on.
“Since we identified xylazine as an emerging threat, we have been working aggressively across all of government to address this threat head on,” said Dr. Gupta. “Since releasing our National Xylazine Response Plan in July, we have made strong and coordinated efforts to ensure we are using every lever we have at our disposal. We are making progress in an urgent manner because American lives depend on it.”
Earlier this month, in line with statutory deadlines, agencies submitted their implementation strategy reports to ONDCP, which outlined how they will help coordinate and enact the National Response Plan.
Over the last several months, the Administration has taken a series of actions to ramp up national response efforts against the growing threat of xylazine combined with fentanyl. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are continually providing updates on their website focused on xylazine. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) convened health care professionals and federal partners on evolving best practices in xylazine-related testing, treatment, and wound care to inform evolving best-practices in the field. NIDA also issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) on xylazine calling for grant proposal submissions on rapid scientific studies to better understand the use and consequences of this substance. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also took action earlier this year to restrict the unlawful entry of xylazine from entering the U.S. market for illicit purposes, while maintaining availability for its legitimate uses in animals. Additionally, federal agencies have expanded efforts to more comprehensively study the patterns of supply and use of xylazine.
This week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released new information on the source of xylazine. Since xylazine is not a controlled substance, public health and public safety officials need to know more about the sources of xylazine in the illicit drug supply chain and markets in the United States. This information will be critical when considering effective actions to take to disrupt the supply of xylazine destined for human use. DEA and DHS have identified xylazine intended for illicit human use entering the U.S. in several ways—in solid form from China and other countries, in liquid form as a diverted veterinary drug, and, mixed with fentanyl seized at the southwest border.
Read the full National Response Plan to Fentanyl Combined with Xylazine HERE.