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Trump de-funds Drug Policy Office…WTF!

President Trump’s budget proposal kills the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

I cannot fathom how any responsible public servant could do this.

In the midst of a horrific opioid epidemic, where we need every possible tool to slow down the death train, he de-funds ONDCP? 

30,000 dead people, thousands of devastated communities, huge societal costs, dead moms and kids and drug-addicted newborns, fentanyl and elephant tranquilizers coming in from China and he de-funds ONDCP?!

ONDCP is the lead agency setting NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY.  This isn’t some obscure, useless federal agency – these people set POLICY – what the feds do, don’t do, how they work together, what they focus on, where they target their efforts.

Without ONDCP, there is no coherent, cohesive policy; we’ll have a bunch of federal, state, and local organizations tripping over each other, duplicating efforts in some areas while completely missing or ignoring others.

And don’t tell me this is just a wish list – this shows where the President’s heart is, where his priorities are and are not.

This is real, folks. I’ve made no secret of my fear of the Trump administration, I just cannot believe even Trump would do this.

Thank goodness this is too awful for some of his fellow Republicans. 

What does this mean for you?

I don’t even want to think about it.


6 thoughts on “Trump de-funds Drug Policy Office…WTF!”


    Doesn’t appear that Office has been broadly successful in recent years. Perhaps it’s better to devolve and expend resources on the ground in Providence, Waterbury, and Nashua than to pay paper pushers in DC? Perhaps more funding for behavioral health providers on the state level would get more bang for the buck???

    Frankly, when life or death issues like this and healthcare law more broadly become political footballs, it seems actionable focus gets blurred in favor of jockeying for momentum going into 2018 midterms.

    Joe, you’re better than this…..focus more on the pragmatism of the policies and dollars spent, not the political rhetoric.

    1. Mike – I vehemently disagree. WE are better than this. I’ve been fighting this battle since 2004 and am quite familiar with ONDCP. They are NOT “paper-pushers” and that characterization is inaccurate, unfair, and misleading.

      This is far more important than “political rhetoric”; we need to focus on this issue more than ever – as Sen Portman (R) and others have bluntly stated – and as I noted in the post. ONDCP is critically important as this is a national issue.

      1. Clearly I’m relatively uninformed on the efficacy and record of success at ONDCP, and yes, my “paper-pusher” term may have been a tad snarky — I do recall owning a plush DARE Bear in the late 1980s. That said, please share with us dear readers some of their achievements and successes over the past 35 years….

        1. Mike – Agencies with “policy” in their titles establish, organize, and promote federal policy in specific areas – AHCPR in health care was an example. Thus one has to examine the programs ONDCP has been tasked with overseeing, which are detailed in the attached.

          1. My main takeaway from that report is that the government has been 100% successful in reaching its annual performance target in asset seizures. The balance are just numbers to me. Very difficult to effectively gauge ROI on these dollars spent, but given recent trends, it seems silly to say nothing needs to change in that Office.

          2. Mike – no one disagrees that things in ONDCP need to change – but eliminating it is not the answer.

            For example, ONDCP is statutorily required to advocate against any and all “illicit” drugs. Given where the public is on marijuana, this is dumb at best.

            Asset seizure is another idea that makes sense at 50,000 feet but can be – and has been – abused by local law enforcement to enrich local government and police departments.

            Net is the problem is hugely complicated, but killing the agency that is attempting to coordinate, eliminate duplication of services and efforts, and make sure key areas are addressed, would be a disaster.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



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