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Readout of White House Videoconference on Recent Overdoses with West Virgina, Kentucky, and Ohio Leaders

Washington, D.C. – Today, Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden, and Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg held a secure videoconference with local leaders to discuss the response to the recent surge in opioid-related overdoses. Joining them were the Mayor of the City of Huntington, West Virginia, Steve Williams; the Health Commissioner for Hamilton County, Ohio, Tim Ingram; and the Judge Executive of Boone County, Kentucky, Gary Moore.

Director Botticelli spoke about the Administration’s announcement this month of enhanced measures with the Chinese government to combat the supply of fentanyl and its analogues to the United States, and also emphasized the critical need to expand access to treatment for people with opioid use disorders.

“Federal agencies have been taking every available action they can,” said Director Botticelli. “However, to fully address the opioid epidemic, Congress needs to fund the President’s $1.1 billion budget request to make sure everyone who wants treatment for an opioid use disorder can get it.”

Dr. Frieden discussed methods for rapidly identifying fentanyl overdose outbreaks, the importance of the overdose-reversal medicine naloxone, and the need to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder. Acting Administrator Rosenberg highlighted opportunities for coordination through the DEA’s 360 Program and discussed targeted enforcement activities.

Speaking to the needs in their respective communities, Mayor Williams, Commissioner Ingram, and Judge Moore all emphasized how critical naloxone has been in reversing overdoses, but they also stressed the critical need for additional federal resources for treatment in their communities, as well as the importance of increased coordination between public health and public safety agencies.

During this Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, which President Obama established by proclamation, Federal agencies are continuing to use all available tools to combat the 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.

A full list of all participants in the videoconference follows:

The Honorable Steve Williams, Mayor, Huntington, WV Jim Johnson, Director, Huntington, WV Office of Drug Control Policy Carl Eastman, Fire Chief, Huntington, WV Jan Rader, Deputy Fire Chief, Huntington, WV Scott Lemley, Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Huntington, WV Police Department  Kevin Yingling, Dean, Marshall University Pharmacy School, Huntington, WV Dr. Michael Kilkenny, Medical Director, Cabell County/Huntington Department of Health  The Honorable Gary Moore, County Judge, Boone County, Kentucky Chris Connors, Executive Director, Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force  Michael Helmig, Sheriff, Boone County, KY Dr. Lynne Saddler, MD, MPH, Director of Northern Kentucky Health Department Tim Ingram, Health Commissioner, Hamilton County Public Health in Hamilton County, OH Dr. Shawn Ryan, Addiction specialist and Emergency Physician, Cincinnati, OH Laura Laake, RNInjury Prevention Coordinator, Hamilton County Public Health Department. The Honorable Dennis Deters, County Commissioner, Hamilton County, OH Kenneth Burner, Deputy Director Appalachia, WV HIDTA

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