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White House introduces National Drug Control Strategy in San Diego

Federal and local officials held a press conference in San Diego Saturday to discuss new actions to combat the trafficking and supply of methamphetamine.

SAN DIEGO — The director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Dr. Rahul Grupta, along with local officials have announced new strategies that will help fight the trafficking crisis of methamphetamine, happening across the United States.

As the number of deaths from drug overdoses continues to skyrocket, that drug control strategy starts with two main pillars; addressing untreated addiction and drug trafficking.

According to the most recent data by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 106,854 people died because of a drug overdose in 2021. 

In San Diego, more than 3,000 clients at county treatment centers reported meth as their primary substance. 

“When we have so many people killed from methamphetamine, which is cut with fentanyl, we have to make sure that we provide that help for people,” said Grupta.   

During a press conference in San Diego, Dr. Rahul Grupta, expressed that the federal government will provide that help by prioritizing harm reductions and access to substance use disorder treatment. This means it will expand treatment for those struggling with drug addiction.

“Incentives, motivational incentives with meth use, in order to make sure that people stay in treatment and are making progress while also doing urgent and needed research,” said Grupta.

The national drug control strategy also includes strategies to improve housing for those homeless and suffering with a drug addiction. 

However, this new national drug control strategy brings up the question of what makes this strategy new and most importantly why is the federal government announcing it in San Diego?

Part of the focus is centered on increasing funding for drug enforcement and for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection since drug trafficking at the southern border happens almost every day. Officials say San Diego easily becomes the epicenter of methamphetamine. 

"We have to hit the drug traffickers where it hurts them the most, and that's their wallet. Through this strategy, we will work to more than triple the number of drug traffickers sanctioned and increase our border security," he said.

Attacking the pockets of drug traffickers, local and federal legislators say this will prevent issues to become an even greater crisis. San Diego used to be the capital of manufactured methamphetamine but because of law enforcement, much of that has been moved south of the border. 

WATCH RELATED: 13 fentanyl deaths over three days in San Diego County.

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