For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke today released the following statement on President Donald J. Trump’s announcement that he will direct the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency:
“The opioid epidemic is devastating too many American communities. At the Department of Homeland Security, we are working with our partners here and overseas to stop the flow of illicit opioids at the source and interdicting narcotics before they reach our borders. We will also continue to focus on dismantling and destroying transnational criminal organizations, which smuggle illicit drugs across our borders and into our hometowns. By mobilizing the entire administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse, President Trump is helping America end this crisis.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) works with interagency and international partners on a comprehensive approach to attacking the opioid epidemic. These efforts include the U.S. Coast Guard patrolling the South Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea to interdict illicit narcotics before they reach our shores. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is also working diligently to detect and apprehend persons seeking to cross our borders illegally – many of whom are smuggling illicit opioids and opioid analogues. CBP also continues to take action against illicit fentanyl shipped to the U.S. through the mail, inspecting international mail and parcels arriving from more than 180 countries. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations also conducts investigative and intelligence related efforts to drive a counter network approach to disrupt and dismantle the transnational criminal organizations responsible for smuggling illicit drugs across our border and distributing them to a vast U.S. drug market that results in the poisoning and killing of Americans.
While DHS focuses primarily on supply reduction, we recognize that demand reduction is a critical element in the U.S. government’s comprehensive efforts to combat opioid abuse and fully support the President’s designation.
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