Modified: May 22, 2017 12:25pm
On Friday, May 19, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and 15 other city and county officials who serve on the National City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump urging his administration to fully support the Office of National Drug Control Policy (“ONDCP” and also known as the “National Drug Czar’s Office) and its Drug-Free Communities and High Intensity Trafficking Area (“HIDTA”) program.
The letter was drafted after a document leaked earlier this month from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget revealed a proposed 95 percent cut to ONDCP’s budget and the total elimination of the HIDTA program. This means ONDCP and its grant programs would in effect be deleted from the Federal Budget at a time when it is needed most to fight the opioid epidemic.
“I requested a letter from my fellow members of the National City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic after it became apparent President Trump’s budget office was preparing to make decimating cuts to ONDCP,” said Poloncarz. “It has been proven that ONDCP and its grant programs have played a crucial role in establishing partnerships across the country and introducing collaborative efforts involving agencies at all levels of government. To slash ONDCP’s budget by 95 percent and completely eliminate the HIDTA program would be a devastating blow to drug free community programs across the country at a time when we are facing unprecedented levels of drug overdoses, many of which are resulting in fatalities. The National Task Force is bi-partisan in nature, made up of Democrats and Republicans, and we all urge President Trump to reconsider these proposed cuts because our collective efforts need the support of the federal government. We cannot fight this battle alone, and we hope President Trump will signal to the nation that fighting the opioid epidemic is a high priority of his administration by rejecting these proposed cuts.”
For more information:
To read the letter that was sent by the National City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic to President Trump, click here .
To read A Prescription for Action, a report from the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National League of Cities (NLC) that examines how cities and counties can address the opioid epidemic, click here .