Opioid fight needs new strategy, Cabinet leadership

Opioid fight needs new strategy, Cabinet leadership


The report recommends what it calls five “pillars” for government action:

— Elevating the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to act as the nerve center for far-flung federal efforts, and restoring Cabinet rank to its director.

— Disrupting the supply of drugs through better coordinated law enforcement actions.

— Reducing the demand for illicit drugs through treatment and by efforts to mitigate the harm to people addicted. Treatment programs should follow science-based “best practices.”

— Using diplomacy to enlist help from other governments in cutting off the supply of chemicals that criminal networks use to manufacture fentanyl.

— Developing surveillance and data analysis tools to spot new trends in illicit drug use before they morph into major problems for society.

Participating as non-voting members in the commission’s work were high-level executive branch officials, including representatives from law enforcement, the departments of State, Treasury and Homeland Security, the intelligence community, and the White House. Administration officials said Biden has already issued two executive orders to counter fentanyl trafficking and called on Congress to pass his $41 billion request to address the overdose epidemic.

In prepared statements, Republican commission members stressed the law enforcement response. “We must redouble our efforts to secure the border against illegal trafficking by targeting Mexican cartels flooding our streets with illicit opioids and force China’s hand to crackdown on their pharmaceutical industry supplying cartels with the base compounds used to manufacture synthetic opioids,” said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.

Trone said it’s going to take cooperation from both political parties. “We have to take this toxic atmosphere in Washington and move past it,” he said. “Because 100,000 people, that’s husbands, sisters, mothers, fathers. As a country, we are better than that.”


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