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Press Release - Readout of the Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy's Visits to a DC Treatment Center, Drug Court Graduation, and Baltimore

March 22, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Last week, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy Kemp Chester visited DC and Baltimore organizations working to address the opioid overdose epidemic and talked about the importance of a balanced approach to drug policy. Over the course of two days, he congratulated graduates at a DC Drug Court Graduation, spoke at the Phoenix House Recovery Summit in Arlington, toured the Port of Baltimore with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, and talked with medical experts and mothers at the Center for Addiction and Pregnancy at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

In the morning of Wednesday, March 13, 2017, Acting Director Chester attended a drug court graduation at the DC Superior Court. During his keynote remarks, he congratulated the graduates for entering recovery and urged them to use their stories of recovery to inspire other people suffering from substance use disorders in their community. "Even though substance use disorder found you, you chose to fully commit to your recovery," noted Acting Director Kemp Chester in his prepared remarks. "You are living, breathing proof that...recovery is possible, and that there is always hope for anyone suffering from a substance use disorder."

Later that afternoon, Acting Director Kemp Chester spoke at the Phoenix House 4th Annual Recovery Summit, which brought together more than 100 clinicians, support personnel, and public health leaders working on substance use disorder issues. During his remarks, the Acting Director focused on the important role treatment providers and recovery supports play in ending the opioid epidemic and strengthening our communities.

The next day, March 14, 2017, Acting Director Chester travelled to Baltimore. In the morning, he received a briefing from the CBP Area Port Director on the history of the Port of Baltimore and the latest trends on narcotics seizures. He then accompanied CBP officers and agents on a tour of the Port, which included additional information on targeting procedures and mechanisms to identify and seize illicit goods.

At the end of the day, he received a briefing on neonatal abstinence syndrome from Dr. Lauren Jansson and her staff at the Center for Addiction and Pregnancy (CAP), an outpatient program that employs a comprehensive, coordinated, and multidisciplinary approach to help mothers with substance use disorders and their substance-exposed infants. At the briefing were three mothers, two of them with their babies, who had participated in the program and who shared their powerful stories of recovery with the Acting Director.

Prescription drug misuse and heroin use have taken a heartbreaking toll on too many Americans and their families. That's why this Administration is working to develop its comprehensive approach to addressing drug use and its consequences.

For pictures of the events, please visit:

Donald J. Trump, Press Release - Readout of the Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy's Visits to a DC Treatment Center, Drug Court Graduation, and Baltimore Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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