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Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll announced the start of a public comment period to assist ONDCP in its development of criteria for designating emerging drug threats. The advance notice comment period will be open from May 15, 2020, through June 30, 2020.

“It is vital that we evaluate emerging drug trends and receive input from policy experts and people on the ground experiencing the firsthand impacts of the drug crisis, particularly as we face new challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trump Administration is actively monitoring drug threats in order to successfully address any harmful trends,” ONDCP Director Jim Carroll said. “We are working hard every day to increase awareness of the dangers of illicit drugs and will continue to support the health and wellbeing of all Americans.”

On October 24, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act. A goal of the SUPPORT Act is to strengthen collaboration and partnerships across disciplines and levels of government. The legislation establishes an expert committee (The Emerging Threats Committee) to identify emerging drug threats in the United States.

The Emerging Threats Committee is responsible for recommending criteria by which the Director of ONDCP would declare or terminate an emerging drug threat declaration in the United States. The Director accepted the committee’s recommendations last November, and is now required to promulgate the criteria.

The initial step in this process is the public comment period on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that invites interested parties to submit comments, data, and other pertinent information concerning ONDCP’s development of proposed criteria for designating emerging drug threats and terminating such designations.

ONDCP’s objective is to develop criteria that will enable the United States to proactively identify emerging drug threats and take necessary action to prevent these threats from becoming public health emergencies.

The period for comment on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Designation of Emerging Drug Threats in the United States, closes June 30, 2020. Comments may be submitted to the Federal Register.