Sect. of Agriculture Vilsack to Lead Charge Addressing Opioid Epidemic, Other Issues in Rural States
This week, President Obama announced Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will lead a new interagency effort focused, in part, on addressing the growing heroin and opioid epidemic sweeping the nation. Secretary Vilsack, the President’s longest serving cabinet member, has been charged with developing policy solutions that build on successful work being completed at the state and local level to combat the use and abuse of opioids and heroin, along with other issues that affect rural states.
Since 2011, Secretary Vilsack has chaired the White House Rural Council and has learned firsthand the effects substance abuse and poverty have on families and communities throughout the country. The Rural Council encompasses 15 departments and multiple agencies, including Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs and the Office of National Drug Policy, among others. The new interagency initiative is expected to include many of the same agencies and offices.
The National Council will continue to monitor the work and progress of this new initiative and will provide insight and analysis should any new policies be introduced.