Yesterday, October 28, the United States Senate confirmed Dr. Rahul Gupta as the new Director of National Drug Control Policy on a bipartisan basis. Gupta is the first medical doctor to ever lead the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). On behalf of CADCA, our Board of Directors, Coalition Advisory Committee, staff and network of over 5,000 community-based substance use and misuse prevention coalitions, I would like to congratulate Dr. Gupta on this well-deserved and essential appointment.
Director Gupta most recently served as the Chief Medical and Health Officer, Interim Chief Science Officer and Senior Vice President at March of Dimes, providing strategic oversight on domestic and global medical and public health efforts. He also worked at the Georgetown University School of Medicine as well as in the School of Public Health at West Virginia University and at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
In his role as a practicing primary care physician of 25 years, Dr. Gupta has been on the front lines of rural communities in West Virginia and experienced firsthand the effects that the onset of substance use among youth, addiction among all members of his community and the tolls overdose deaths have on individuals, families and loved ones. As ONDCP’s new Director, I know Dr. Gupta will work diligently to advance high-quality, data-driven strategies to make our communities healthier and safer.
This confirmation comes as the Biden-Harris Administration recently outlined a strategy that includes expanding access to evidence-based prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery support services, as well reducing the supply of illicit drugs.
ONDCP has been a stalwart partner of CADCA for many, many years. In fact, ONDCP provides funding for, and administration of, the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program. In 2001, the DFC Act reauthorization provided for the development of a National Coalition Institute. In coordination with ONDCP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CADCA is always working on the next round of training, technical assistance, evaluation, research, translation, and capacity building products and services to support our tremendous coalition network.
In addition, ONDCP recently announced $13.2 million in grants for 106 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Programs across the country working to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol. In June, ONDCP announced $3.2 million for 65 communities nationwide for its Community-Based Coalition Enhancement Grants to Address Local Drug Crisis Program to reduce youth substance use.
I, and all of CADCA, look forward to working hand-in-hand with Director Gupta as we strive to continue building safe, healthy and drug-free communities in every corner of our great country. Together, we can save countless lives. Together, we can lead the way and turn the tide on substance use disorders and addiction.
|Barrye L. Price, Ph.D.
Major General, U.S. Army Retired
President and CEO, CADCA