Opioid Epidemic and Federal Efforts to Address It: Frequently Asked Questions [October 18, 2017] [open pdf - 915KB]
"Over the last several years, there has been growing concern among the public and lawmakers in the United States about rising drug overdose deaths, which more than tripled from 1999 to 2014. In 2015, more than 52,000 people died from drug overdoses, and approximately 63% of those deaths involved an opioid. Many federal agencies are involved in efforts to combat opioid abuse. The primary federal agency involved in drug enforcement, including diversion control efforts for prescription opioids, is the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The primary agency supporting drug treatment and prevention is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The federal government also has several programs that may be used, or are specifically designed, to address opioid abuse. These range from law enforcement assistance in combatting drug trafficking to assistance for states in developing a coordinated response to address opioid abuse. These programs span across several departments, including (but not limited to) the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Federal and state lawmakers have addressed opioid abuse as a public health concern in enacting legislation that focuses heavily on prevention and treatment. [...] This report answers common questions that have arisen as drug overdose deaths in the United States continue to increase. It does not provide a comprehensive overview of opioid abuse as a public health or criminal justice issue."
CRS Report for Congress, R44987
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html