Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire
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Kuster Discusses Future of Office of National Drug Control Policy with Acting Director Kemp L. Chester

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 4:00pm

A high resolution version of this photo is available here

(Washington, DC) – This afternoon, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, hosted Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Acting Director Kemp L. Chester for a meeting to discuss the future of the office, which coordinates drug-control efforts and funding and advises the President on drug-control issues. The meeting comes as New Hampshire recently moved to number two in the nation in the drug overdose rate and amid rumors that the White House is considering cutting the ONDCP. Kuster also highlighted the need to prioritize funding to states with high prevalence of substance use disorder.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak with Acting Director Chester to discuss the uncertain future of the office of National Drug Control Policy and the need to continue working to stem the growth of the opioid addiction epidemic,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I’m deeply concerned by reports that the White House is considering cutting this office, which has served as an important partner in the effort to support those in treatment and expand interdiction, prevention, and education efforts. In New Hampshire, we have tremendously dedicated individuals on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic and we can’t afford to leave them without the resources necessary to do their jobs. I’ll continue to work with the ONDCP, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services to direct resources to New Hampshire and states struggling the most with the addiction crisis.”

Congresswoman Kuster is the co-founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, and has been at the forefront of the fight to address the heroin and opioid crisis at the federal level and in New Hampshire. She has been an outspoken advocate for the need to support medical, law enforcement, treatment, and recovery efforts. Last month, Kuster wrote to President Trump urging him to quickly appoint a successor to ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli, saying the person leading the office must understand the depth of the crisis and how to bring people together to stop it.