’CAUSE W. VIRGINIA WAS A BEACON OF PREVENTION –
July 13, 2021 – The Biden administration is tapping Rahul Gupta as its top drug policy official, charging the former West Virginia public health commissioner with leading federal efforts to combat a spiraling addiction crisis.
Gupta, if confirmed by the Senate, will take on the drug czar post amid record levels of deadly drug overdoses, spurred by surging use of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl and methamphetamine. The social isolation and economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have exacerbated the problem, public health officials say. Gupta, who was most recently the chief medical officer at the March of Dimes, gained national recognition for his data-driven drug treatment work in West Virginia, a state ravaged by the opioid epidemic. His approach to identifying populations at high risk for overdose has served as a national model and made him an early frontrunner to lead the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.