Joe Biden

Press Release - A Key Priority of President Biden's Unity Agenda, White House Calls on Congress to Deliver Critical Resources to Address the Nation's Overdose Epidemic and Save Lives

October 25, 2023

Following the more than $1.2 billion requested to fight fentanyl trafficking last week, Biden-Harris Administration requesting $1.55 billion to strengthen addiction treatment, overdose prevention measures, and recovery support services across the country

Washington, D.C. – Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta released the following statement on President Biden's supplemental funding request, which calls on Congress to provide critical additional resources to address the nation's overdose epidemic and save lives.

"As we continue to lose an American life to drug overdose every five minutes around the clock, Congress must come together and take immediate action," said Dr. Gupta. "Today, we are calling on Congress to help advance the Administration's ongoing work to connect more people to treatment and build healthy, safe and resilient communities. As a physician who has spent decades treating patients and administering life-saving overdose reversal medications, I cannot underscore the importance of these critical public health funds enough."

As part of today's domestic supplemental funding request, the Biden-Harris Administration is requesting $1.55 billion to expand essential life-saving services provided through the State Opioid Response grant program. This funding will help strengthen addiction treatment, overdose prevention measures, and recovery support services in all States, Territories, and Tribal Nations. A core component of the whole-of-government response to address the overdose epidemic, the State Opioid Response grant program has provided treatment services to over 1.2 million people, and using federal State Opioid Response grant dollars, states have purchased nearly 9 million overdose reversal medication kits and helped reverse more than 500,000 overdoses.

Taken together, the two supplemental funding requests announced in the past week will help deliver on President Biden's National Drug Control Strategy, which focuses on going after the two key drivers of the overdose epidemic: drug traffickers and untreated addiction. Today's announcement of $1.55 billionto strengthen substance use disorder services builds on the Administration's ask for more than $1.2 billion to crack down on illicit drug trafficking last week. In his National Security supplemental package, President Biden urged Congress to provide the resources our law enforcement personnel need to continue to secure the southwest border and stop the flow of fentanyl into our country and our communities. This request includes $1.2 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to increase its counter-fentanyl activities, including by deploying more non-intrusive inspection systems, and hiring additional Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. This request also includes $23 million for the Department of Justice (DOJ) for illicit fentanyl testing and tracing activities to support investigations and enforcement.

During his first State of the Union address, President Biden announced beating the overdose epidemic as one of the four pillars of his Unity Agenda, focused on issues where all Americans and members of both parties can come together and make progress for the nation. The Biden-Harris Administration has made this issue a top priority, and taken historic actions over the past two years to address substance use, enhance public health, strengthen public safety, and save lives.

Joseph R. Biden, Press Release - A Key Priority of President Biden's Unity Agenda, White House Calls on Congress to Deliver Critical Resources to Address the Nation's Overdose Epidemic and Save Lives Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/367960

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