NAATP has learned the Biden administration is tapping Dr. Rahul Gupta as its top drug policy official, charging the former West Virginia public health commissioner with leading federal efforts to combat a spiraling addiction crisis.
NAATP congratulates Dr. Gupta on his pending appointment. We have met with Dr. Gupta a number of times and have been pleased with his understanding of and approach to substance use disorder issues.
Dr. Gupta, who was most recently the chief medical officer at the March of Dimes, gained national recognition for his data driven SUD treatment work in West Virginia, a state ravaged by the opioid epidemic. His approach to identifying populations at high risk for overdose has served as a national model and made him an early frontrunner to lead the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy.
While Gupta, will need confirmation by the United States Senate, he will take on the drug czar post at a critical time. The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to record levels of deadly drug overdoses, spurred by surging use of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl and methamphetamine. We are pleased that in our discussions Dr. Gupta clearly understands that alcohol is still the largest cause of SUD related health issues and deaths.
NAATP who has a long history of working closely with ONDCP would also like to thank Dr. LaBelle, who has served as the interim director of ONDCP.
According to Marvin Ventrell, NAATP CEO, “We appreciate the direction established by Dr. LaBelle and look forward to continuing to advance the critical issues around substance use disorder treatment with Dr. Gupta at the helm of ONDCP.”