Addiction Policy News

ASAM Applauds Nomination of Dr. Rahul Gupta to Lead ONDCP

July 13, 2021

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ASAM looks forward to continuing to work with ONDCP and the Biden-Harris Administration to help Americans with substance use disorder regain the opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives

 

Rockville, MD - The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) today applauded President Biden’s nomination of Dr. Rahul Gupta to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a critical position for coordinating the nation’s drug policy and response to the nation’s drug addiction and overdose crisis. ASAM looks forward to continuing to work with ONDCP and the Biden-Harris Administration to help Americans who are struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) regain the opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives.

In his role as Public Health Commissioner and State Health Officer for West Virginia, Dr. Gupta demonstrated practical leadership and compassion throughout the state’s response to its overdose crisis. During his time in that position, he effectively worked with colleagues and partners both within and outside of government to establish many important initiatives to help people with SUD in one of the country’s hardest-hit states. If confirmed, he will be the first physician ever to lead ONDCP. 

“As a physician executive with a history of leadership in drug policy, Dr. Gupta worked diligently on overdose prevention, harm reduction, and treatment access in West Virginia,” said William Haning, MD, DLFAPA, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “With his experience and expertise in public health policy and medical services, Dr. Gupta is a well-qualified public servant to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy. We welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively and productively with such a staunch advocate of public health.”

During his tenure as West Virginia’s Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Gupta pioneered one of the country’s first overdose fatality review processes in order to improve stakeholders’ understanding of the circumstances surrounding each overdose death in the state and to more effectively develop a strategy for preventing additional fatalities. The resulting findings and recommendations laid the groundwork for expanding access in West Virginia to medications for opioid use disorder (OUD) and naloxone, a lifesaving drug that can reverse opioid overdose.  
 
“With the United States witnessing a record number of drug overdose deaths amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Gupta has the experience required to help address this historic crisis, and we look forward to collaborating with him in this new role,” continued Dr. Haning. 

 

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Rebecca Reid 
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