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Shaheen, Marshall & Grassley Address Substance Use Disorder Crisis with Director of National Drug Control Policy

ONDCP meeting

Shaheen, Marshall and Grassley meet with Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in Washington earlier this week.

(Washington, DC) – This week, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) hosted Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, for a discussion on the federal government’s ongoing response to the substance use disorder epidemic. In their discussion, the Senators addressed the responsibility that big tech companies must take in response to drug traffickers using their platforms to target young people through social media.

“With the surge in fentanyl trafficking and now the prevalence of Narcan-resistant xylazine, the substance use disorder crisis is surging in New Hampshire and across the nation. For too long, our families have been harmed by this scourge. Grandparents have stepped in to raise their grandkids; parents have endured the unimaginable grief of losing their children and our communities are overwhelmed by this epidemic,” said Shaheen. “I appreciated meeting with Dr. Gupta to discuss what I’m hearing in New Hampshire and to highlight the bipartisan commitment that Senators Marshall, Grassley and I – as well as others in Congress – share to confront this crisis and save lives. From increasing flexibility in our laws to expand the eligibility of federal funds to treat substance use disorders, to enhancing global coordination to interdict the trafficking of fentanyl and holding social media companies accountable for how their platforms are used to target vulnerable kids, I’ll keep working on policies to turn the tide on this epidemic.”

“At least one Kansan dies every day from fentanyl poisoning along with hundreds of others nationwide. Action from Congress and the White House is urgently needed to stop drug dealers from targeting Americans, particularly teenagers, through social media. Today’s bipartisan meeting is proof that there is real momentum for the Cooper Davis Act,” Marshall said. “This impactful legislation will finally hold social media companies accountable for marketing deadly illegal drugs to America’s youth on their platforms. We look forward to continuing our work with Dr. Gupta and our Senate partners.”

“Tens of thousands of Americans are dying from drug overdoses, particularly because of illegally trafficked fentanyl. Law enforcement has found tragic numbers of overdose cases tied to major social media platforms. There must be a comprehensive system for these companies to aid federal authorities so we can stop this poison. It’s essential that ONDCP and the administration continue to support efforts like these, so we can get our legislation across the finish line,” said Grassley.

“Today, illicit drugs like fentanyl can far too easily be bought and sold online, including on social media, and we are seeing the tragic results every day,” said Dr. Gupta. “This Administration is committed to finding solutions to protect young people and all Americans from the dangers of these deadly drugs and hold drug traffickers and their enablers accountable.  We will look for every opportunity to work together in a bipartisan way with Congress to prevent more Americans from dying.”

Senator Shaheen, as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice, has led efforts in the Senate to address the substance use disorder epidemic. Her bipartisan FENTANYL Results Act, signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), increases global cooperation in the fight against synthetic drug trafficking. Shaheen and Marshall lead the Cooper Davis Act, which is a bipartisan bill to hold social media companies accountable for reporting to law enforcement all illicit fentanyl activity occurring on their platforms. In the FY 2023 government funding legislation, Shaheen secured $608 million in federal grants to help communities and first responders across the nation to respond to the substance misuse crisis. Shaheen also included in the FY 2023 government funding bill language to authorize increased funding for the State Opioid Response grant program, which gives local communities resources to better combat the opioid and substance use disorder epidemic. Since 2018, New Hampshire has received approximately $140 million from these grants to combat the opioid epidemic in the state. As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), Shaheen recently questioned Biden administration officials on what can be done to hold social media platforms accountable for enabling fentanyl sales that target youth and fuel this crisis.