04.22.22

Drug Caucus Chairman Whitehouse Applauds Comprehensive National Drug Control Strategy

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, issued the following statement on the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) inaugural National Drug Control Strategy.

“Illicit drugs cause immeasurable pain and loss in our communities. As the Chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, I’ve pressed for an updated federal plan to tackle them. I’ve been clear that the plan must include a more coordinated approach to cracking down on drug trafficking and transnational criminal organizations, especially the ways in which they launder and protect their ill-gotten gains using U.S. rule of law and financial networks; tearing down barriers to treatment, including expanding access to life-saving naloxone and medication-assisted treatment; improving our data collection systems to better understand the effects of our intervention efforts; and more and better cooperation with our international partners to reduce the supply of precursor chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs and to levy tougher sanctions against transnational drug syndicates. I’m pleased to see my priorities reflected in this new strategy, and I look forward to working with the Biden administration to deliver on those priorities.”

Whitehouse has led the charge to strengthen America’s hand against international narcotics trafficking, corruption, and kleptocracy. Last July, Whitehouse sent a letter to ONDCP Acting Director Regina LaBelle to offer input as the Biden administration crafted the National Drug Control Strategy. He urged the administration to:

  • Strengthen the domestic drug prevention, treatment, education, recovery, and enforcement infrastructure through accountability;
  • Attack the financial networks of drug trafficking organizations;
  • Prioritize anti-corruption efforts;
  • Strengthen international partnerships to stop the flow of precursor chemicals and illicit drugs;
  • Expand and develop treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs);
  • Encourage coordination and expansion of treatment courts;
  • Expand the addiction workforce; and
  • Improve data collection systems.

As Chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, Whitehouse has held hearings that examined the federal response to the drug overdose epidemic, the role and effectiveness of U.S. drug control agencies in addressing corruption associated with the illicit drug trade, and how drug cartels have adapted their production, trafficking, and finance schemes for the 21st Century. Whitehouse has also long championed legislation to fight the addiction crisis that has taken an enormous toll on families and communities across the country.

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