White House to look at emerging drug threats

White House to look at emerging drug threats

The White House announced Friday that it will be opening up a public comment period to develop criteria for designating emerging drug threats.

Jim Carroll, director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), said the comment period will be open from May 15 through June 30 of this year.

“It is vital that we evaluate emerging drug trends and receive input from policy experts and people on the ground experiencing the firsthand impacts of the drug crisis, particularly as we face new challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trump Administration is actively monitoring drug threats in order to successfully address any harmful trends,” Carroll said. “We are working hard every day to increase awareness of the dangers of illicit drugs and will continue to support the health and wellbeing of all Americans.”

As part of the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act passed in 2018, the ONDCP is charged with creating an expert committee to identify emerging drug threats in the United States, The Emerging Threats Committee.

That committee would be responsible for recommending criteria that would enable the Director of ONDCP to make a declaration on an emerging drug threat in the U.S. Last November, according to the White House, the director accepted the committee’s recommendations and is now required to broadcast those criteria.

The first step in making the criteria public is to open the criteria up for public comment on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that encourages interested parties to submit comments, data and other relevant information concerning the proposed criteria so that the ONDCP can develop tools that will let the department proactively determine emerging drug threats.

Comments may be submitted to the Federal Register.