Trump Proposes 95 Percent Cut to Drug Office, Chief Warns Staff

Jackie Newman
May 7, 2017

But it's hard to imagine the new commission would get the kind of funding that went to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The draft memo provided to CNN by a source details how the Office of National Drug Control Policy will receive a near 94% cut in 2018, from a $380 million budget to $24 million.

The eliminations involve the high-intensity drug-trafficking area program, which just received - under a catchall government-wide spending bill signed by President Donald Trump on Friday - $254 million for grants to help states and localities to fight drug trafficking, and the $100 million drug-free communities program, which helps local organizations battle drugs in their communities. This program has also enjoyed broad bipartisan support.

President Trump is scheduled to release his budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year later this month.

Baum had hoped to convince the Office of American Innovation that the ONDCP is an essential tool in combatting the opioid epidemic.

"Additionally, the HIDTA program is duplicative of other federal efforts that encourage and fund" anti-drug efforts, the White House budget document states.

"When it comes to the opioid epidemic, I think the president has been extremely clear this is a top priority for him", said Sanders, who filled in for White House press secretary Sean Spicer at Friday's briefing.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Through this funding CCSAPP has been able.to support the community by offering trainings such as TIPS and our Drug Prevention Summit, participate in National Prescription Drug Take Backs, provide evidenced based training for the schools, create educational presentations with our youth leaders and so much more", said Michelle Perdue, director of CCSAPP.

"I have been encouraged by the Administration's commitment to addressing the opioid epidemic, and the President's personal engagement on the issue", Baum said.

"These cuts are frankly heartbreaking and, if carried out, cause us to lose many good people who contribute greatly to ONDCP's mission and core activities", Acting Director Richard Baum wrote in an email to ONDCP staff obtained by CBS. The Trump administration does not make note of the ONDCP on its own website.

The new commission is led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Trump supporter who has been a strong advocate for addiction treatment.

"We want to help those who have become so badly addicted", Trump said during a meeting in March. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the US, and opioid overdoses are responsible for 78 deaths per day. This is a total epidemic.

A candidate to run the ONDCP, Republican Representative Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, withdrew from consideration on May 4 citing family reasons but said he'd remain in Congress. Rob Portman of OH said the anti-drug programs that the Trump administration wants to eliminate have had a profoundly positive impact in his state.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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