Washington, D.C. (September 16, 2016) – President Obama proclaimed September 18-24, 2016, as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. As part of the week, Members of the President’s Cabinet and federal agencies are focusing on the work being done to address the national epidemic.
Federal agencies are using all available tools to combat this epidemic by expanding evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, increasing access to the overdose-reversal medicine naloxone, improving opioid prescribing practices, and supporting targeted enforcement activities. Meanwhile, state and community leaders are working together to save lives through innovative partnerships between public safety and public health.
However, while many Americans have been helped because they got the treatment and care they needed, too many still do not receive care—often because it is not accessible in their communities. That is why the President continues to call on Congress to provide $1.1 billion in new funding to make sure everyone who wants treatment for an opioid use disorder can get the treatment they need. Every day that passes without Congressional action to provide these additional resources is a missed opportunity to save lives.
During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, the White House will host parents affected by the epidemic. Attorney General Lynch and other Justice Department officials—as well as U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country—will participate in over 160 different events. The Department of Agriculture will host state forums on the epidemic in Connecticut and Colorado. Veterans Affairs Secretary McDonald will lead a forum in Washington, DC, on treatment and support for veterans with opioid use disorder.
Here is a partial listing of Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week activities (additional activities and actions will be announced throughout the next week):
Monday, September 19
National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a roundtable conversation in the White House with parents from across the country whose family members have been affected by the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic. Press inquiries should be directed to Mediainquiry@ondcp.eop.gov.
Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates will visit a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Community Treatment Services program in Washington, DC. The Community Treatment Program is the final stage of BOP’s Residential Drug Abuse Program, as the individuals completing their sentences transition through Residential Reentry Centers. This visit will highlight BOPs efforts to provide treatment to individuals with substance use disorders. Press inquiries should be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acting Bureau of Prisons Director Thomas Kane will meet participants in a Residential Drug Abuse Program at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, MD. Press inquiries should be directed to the DOJ Press office at email@example.com.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency and Rural Development offices in key affected states will be hosting forums to bring together government officials, medical professionals, law enforcement, and other stakeholders to raise awareness of the issue, forge partnerships, identify possible solutions and highlight the need for more treatment resources in rural communities. The first two will be held September 19 in Tolland, Connecticut, and September 20 in Brighton, Colorado. Press inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Attorney General Loretta Lynch will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to hold a student town hall at a high school, meet with parents who have lost their children to overdose, and then close the day at the University of Kentucky for a policy speech on how the Administration is addressing the epidemic through prevention, enforcement and treatment. Press inquiries should be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at email@example.com.
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces Director Bruce Ohr will travel to New Mexico to hold meetings with the leaders of three communities in the Espanola Valley. During his visit, he will talk with tribal leaders to discuss federal assistance to address the epidemic in Indian Country and best practices for first responders to carry naloxone. Press inquiries should be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, Principal Associate Attorney General Bill Baer, and National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli will participate in a roundtable discussion on the Administration's efforts to assist our nation's veterans suffering from opioid use disorder. Press inquiries should be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at email@example.com.
Thursday, September 22, 2016:
Director Botticelli will speak at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Annual Meeting in Minneapolis on the important role that public health leaders must play in addressing the epidemic. Press inquiries should be directed to Mediainquiry@ondcp.eop.gov.
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Director Ron Davis will hold an event on federal support for targeted enforcement strategies at the Indianapolis State Police Headquarters. Press inquiries should be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information on recent Administration actions to address the opioid epidemic:
Aug 31, 2016: HHS Awards $53 Million to Help Address Opioid Epidemic
August 17, 2016: Obama Administration Funds New Projects to Disrupt Prescription Opioid, Fentanyl and Heroin Trafficking
August 05, 2016: White House Hosts Panel on Effective Treatment for Overdose Survivors for More Than 600 Medical Providers and First Responders
July 06, 2016: Obama Administration Takes More Actions to Address the Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic
June 29, 2016: White House Releases Estimated State Opioid Treatment Funding Levels under President’s Budget Proposal
April 08, 2016: White House Director of Drug Policy Joins National and Local Leaders in Announcing Medication-Assisted Treatment Trainings
March 28, 2016: Obama Administration Announces Additional Actions to Address the Prescription Opioid Abuse and Heroin Epidemic
For more information about the Office of National Drug Control Policy visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp