Yesterday the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released its first national strategy since this administration has been in office. Newly confirmed Director Jim Carroll made the announcement.
The ONDCP’s national strategy is in line with policies already announced by the Department of Health and Human Services and does not vary greatly from the previous strategy under former President Obama. It focuses primarily on treatment, prevention, and stopping the flow of illegal drugs.
The plan endorses HHS guidelines limiting the use of prescription opioids among chronic pain patients. It supports those limitations for acute and post-surgical pain, particularly, for patients with a history of Substance Use Disorder (SUD). It also calls for more research on viable non-opioid alternatives for treating pain.
ONDCP touted the administration’s media campaign as a helpful tool to educate young people regarding the risks of opioids and other drugs. ONDCP is recommending that the campaign be expanded to other target populations and other types of substances.
Despite the fact that billions of dollars have been allocated to law enforcement and treatment in the past few years, drug overdose deaths exceeded 72,000 in 2017, which was the highest on record.
The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers reaffirms our pledge to work with ONDCP and Congress on policies to help reduce the stigma and increase access to treatment for all SUD patients.