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Trone Spearheads Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Urging Biden to Reinstate Director of ONDCP

February 1st, 2023 by WCBC Radio

Congressman David Trone (D-MD), co-chair of the U.S. Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking; Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), member of the Commission; Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Annie Kuster (D-NH), Trone’s fellow co-chairs on the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force; and 51 other Members of Congress sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to reinstate the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to a Cabinet-level position. 


Trone and his Congressional colleagues sent the letter amid rising drug overdoses throughout the United States. Since 1999, one million Americans have died from drug overdoses. With a record 108,000 Americans lost in 2021, Stanford now estimates 1.2 million more Americans will die in this decade alone. This letter follows the same recommendation to elevate the ONDCP Director made by the U.S. Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, which Trone co-chaired alongside Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR).


The ONDCP is responsible for the development and implementation of the National Drug Control Strategy and Budget. The office coordinates across 19 federal agencies and oversees $41 billion to address substance use disorder. In 1993, President Clinton elevated the head of ONDCP to serve on his cabinet and the position held Cabinet-level status until 2009. Since the position was removed from the Cabinet, deaths from overdose in the U.S. have more than doubled, with powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl infiltrating much of the country’s illicit drug supply.