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Biden Administration Releases Drug-Policy Priorities for Year One

The Biden administration on Thursday released a statement outlining its first-year, drug-policy priorities to address America’s overdose and addiction crises.

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Acting Director Regina LaBelle noted in an announcement that these priorities will complement President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which includes an investment of nearly $4 billion in behavioral health services.

In the next year, the ONDCP will work across government to implement seven priorities:

  • Expanding access to evidence-based treatment
  • Advancing racial equity in our approach to drug policy
  • Enhancing evidence-based harm reduction efforts
  • Supporting evidence-based prevention efforts to reduce youth substance use
  • Reducing the supply of illicit substances
  • Advancing recovery-ready workplaces and expanding the addiction workforce
  • Expanding access to recovery support services

The strategy identified several issues that NABH has discussed with the ONDCP, including, but not limited to, enforcing parity, improving reimbursement for services, permitting medications through telehealth without an in-person evaluation, and removing policy barriers to using contingency management and motivational incentives.

In addition, harm reduction appears to have a more visible role in the Biden administration than with previous administrations, as do issues related to workforce, recovery-ready workplaces, and recovery-support services.