Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly reiterated his opposition to reported cuts to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in President Trump’s forthcoming Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which is expected to be released this month. Donnelly has sent two letters: one in February opposing cuts to ONDCP and highlighting the positive role ONDCP programs have played in Indiana’s communities, and another last week highlighting the need for ONDCP to continue efforts to expand access to treatment given the toll the opioid abuse crisis is having on Indiana.
Donnelly said, “We have seen that when jobs leave a community, drugs come in. All across Indiana and the country, communities are struggling to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics. That is why I wrote to President Trump specifically about the importance of ONDCP and its programs, including Drug Free Communities and HIDTA, which are critical tools for Hoosier law enforcement and communities to combat drug abuse and trafficking. This is a time to be investing more in prevention, treatment, and recovery – as we did in a bipartisan way in last week’s government funding bill – not cutting critical tools like ONDCP.”
For several years, Donnelly has helped lead the charge to address opioid addiction in Indiana and across the country. Several of Donnelly’s bipartisan provisions became law in 2016 as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). His provisions were adopted from his bipartisan legislation to update best prescribing practices and raise public awareness, as well as a bipartisan provision he authored that would encourage first responder units to connect individuals who receive naloxone with treatment and other necessary services. CARA also expands access to treatment and support for individuals in recovery.
Donnelly helped several communities in Indiana receive High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designations, including Marion County and LaPorte County in 2016.