White House ONDCP Releases First National Strategy under Trump
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a component of the White House responsible for coordinating the nation’s response to drug-related issues such as the opioid overdose epidemic, last week released its first National Drug Control Strategy since President Trump took office. The strategy calls on federal agencies to focus their efforts on preventing individuals from initiating use of illicit drugs, providing adequate evidence-based treatment for individuals living with addiction, and reducing the availability of illicit drugs via law enforcement activities.
The strategy was announced just hours after Jim Carroll was formally sworn in as the ONDCP’s first permanent leader under the Trump Administration. “The Strategy builds upon our current whole-of-government approach that educates Americans about the dangers of drug abuse, ensures those struggling with addiction get the help they need, and stops the flow of illegal drugs across our borders,” said Carroll, the new “drug czar”, in a statement. Specifically, the strategy calls for strengthening several prevention and treatment initiatives, including expanding the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), providing more guidance for safe opioids prescribing practices, increasing the size of the addiction treatment workforce, expanding access to peer recovery support services, and more.
To support ONDCP’s direction under new leadership, Politico reports that the office is undergoing a major reorganization to include downsizing the research office, reassigning staff to new issue areas and dividing policy work into four main groups coordinating efforts around opioids, cocaine, interdiction (intercepting illegal drugs), and public health. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and Drug Free Communities grant programs administered by ONDCP remain unchanged.