Skip To Content
July 13, 2021

Congressman David Trone Hails Biden’s Pick for ONDCP Director, Dr. Rahul Gupta


July 13, 2021

Contact: Hannah Muldavin,

Congressman David Trone Hails Biden’s Pick for ONDCP Director, Dr. Rahul Gupta

Rep. Trone Speaking at a press conference to end the addiction crisis with his Freshmen Working Group on Addiction in 2019.

WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman David Trone (MD-06) applauded President Joe Biden’s pick for the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Rahul Gupta, MD. The ONDCP is responsible for setting and coordinating national drug policy.

“President Biden has made clear from the beginning that our approach to drug policy should be centered around compassion and rehabilitation, and his appointment of Rahul Gupta to lead the ONDCP reaffirms that commitment,” said Congressman David Trone, co-founder of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force in Congress. “Dr. Gupta’s pursuit of innovative and data-driven strategies to decrease the fatal overdose rate during his time as Commissioner and State Health Officer in West Virginia will prove invaluable as we work to end the epidemic that has killed over 600,000 Americans. I look forward to working with Dr. Gupta, who grew up in Maryland and knows our state well, as we change the narrative surrounding mental health and substance use disorders, develop sensible solutions to combat these diseases, and save lives.” 

Fighting the Addiction Crisis in Congress

Trone has made ending the addiction crisis his top priority as a Member of Congress. He founded the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction, a bipartisan group of 60+ Members of Congress dedicated to that goal. In the 116th Congress, the group introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation to address the issue. In 2020, Speaker Pelosi appointed Trone to the National Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, which he was named co-chair of this year.

In the 116th Congress, Trone introduced several bills to combat the mental health and addiction crises. Three of those bills, the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act, the Family Support Services for Addiction Act, and theFENTANYL Results Act were passed by the House of Representatives.

In the 117th Congress, Trone continues the fight against these crises. In March, he announced the creation of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, an effort to promote policies to combat the addiction and mental health crises in America. The new group merges Trone’s Freshmen Working Group on Addiction and the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force, which was co-chaired by Reps. Annie Kuster and Brian Fitzpatrick in the 116th Congress.

This year, Trone has introduced several bills, including the Opioid Patients’ Right to Know Act to help prevent opioid addiction across the country and the Effective Drug Control Strategy Act to direct ONDCP to track and review all federally-funded drug demand reduction activities, ensuring that the federal government is funding the most effective programs. He also introduced theFamily Support Services for Addiction Act to assist non-profit organizations that provide family support services for addiction treatment, and the Preventing Mental Health and Substance Use Crises During Emergencies Act to create a joint task force to prevent mental health crises triggered by public health emergencies.

Following the increase in overdose-related deaths during the pandemic, Trone led a bipartisan coalition of nearly 80 lawmakers to urge Congressional leadership to provide $10 billion in funding for mental health disorder and substance use disorder prevention and treatment in the next COVID relief package.

Each year, Trone organizes Congress Goes Purple, an event held each September to show support for those in recovery. Congress Goes Purple was inspired by grassroots and local efforts focused on bringing awareness to the addiction epidemic that is ravaging our nation. In 2019, Trone mobilized a bipartisan group of legislators, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, to wear purple in recognition of the occasion. In 2020, Trone held a virtual Congress Goes Purple social media event with a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators that helped #RecoveryMonth and #CongressGoesPurple trend nationwide.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the 117th Congress and previously served on the Education and Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the opioid epidemic, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.