Skip to main content

Acting Drug Czar: We Share Your Concerns Regarding Fentanyl Threat


Shortly after the establishment of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) responded to a bipartisan letter from Energy and Commerce Committee leaders. The initial letter posed questions for all federal agencies within ONDCP’s jurisdiction about their plans to address the urgent public health threat of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.

The detailed response highlights the severity of the fentanyl crisis, which has drawn the attention of national security groups and organizations.

Click HERE to read a copy of ONDCP’s response.

March 31, 2017

Drug Czar’s Letter to Congress Highlights Fentanyl Crisis

The potent opioid fentanyl, which is worsening a deadly U.S. drug epidemic, is pouring into the country from an array of sources and presenting law enforcement with complex challenges, according to new information from the nation’s drug czar.

A detailed letter to U.S. House lawmakers, responding to a request from the Energy and Commerce Committee, laid out many details about how authorities believe traffickers are moving and selling fentanyl. The drug czar’s office acknowledged available data don’t capture the full scope of the fentanyl crisis, yet still underscore an overwhelming problem.

“Please know that we share the Committee’s view that illicit fentanyl is an urgent public health threat,” said Richard Baum, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in the letter dated Wednesday.

Recently extracted data from a federal database showed authorities seized at least 668 kilograms of illicit powdered fentanyl last year, according to the letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Because fentanyl is lethal in such tiny amounts—just 2 milligrams—that is enough of the synthetic opioid to kill every American.

“And that’s just what they can count,” an aide with the Energy and Commerce Committee said. “That’s exactly why it’s a clear and present danger to the United States.”

Authorities also have seen large increases in the liquid and pill form of the drug, and seizures of all types of illicit fentanyl have been climbing rapidly. The data for 2016 are still incomplete. …

To read the full article online, click HERE.


In the News