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Rep. Tonko Calls on Trump to Maintain Funding for Agency Combating Opioid Epidemic

Capital Region Congressman joins 70+ colleagues from both parties to oppose heavy cuts in Trump FY 2018 budget targeting top drug control agency

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Washington, May 17, 2017 | comments
“The Office and the programs it supports are uniquely positioned to address the causes and effects of the current opioid crisis with proven strategies and broad reach. For these important programs to remain effective, we believe they must continue to be funded fully and coordinated effectively. We are gravely concerned that any interruption would exacerbate the crises in our communities and we remain committed in working together to reverse the damaging effects that opioids and other drugs have had on American families.”
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WASHINGTONCongressman Paul Tonko (NY-20) joined with more than 70 of his colleagues in the House today to call on President Trump and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to preserve funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the lead agency tasked with combatting the growing opioid crisis.

According to numerous reports, the President’s FY18 budget includes significant cuts at ONDCP. Among others, it would eliminate a drug-free communities support program that has helped local organizations, including Niskayuna Community Action Program and Troy Drug Free Community Coalition, do their critical work in our region.

In a bipartisan letter sent to Mulvaney late yesterday, the Members write: “The Office and the programs it supports are uniquely positioned to address the causes and effects of the current opioid crisis with proven strategies and broad reach. For these important programs to remain effective, we believe they must continue to be funded fully and coordinated effectively. We are gravely concerned that any interruption would exacerbate the crises in our communities and we remain committed in working together to reverse the damaging effects that opioids and other drugs have had on American families.”

The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that the number of overdose deaths from prescription opioids increased by a factor of 2.8 between 2002 and 2015. The number of heroin deaths increased by a factor of 6.2 in the same period.

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