Philadelphia, PA – April 19, 2023 –Today, Senator Christine M. Tartaglione, Senate Democratic Whip, hosted the Biden Administration’s Drug Czar along with state policymakers to talk about the addiction and opioid crisis.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), joined Sen. Tartaglione, Dr. Latika Davis-Jones, Acting Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), and a bipartisan and bicameral group of 12 legislators at Temple University to discuss the partnership between state and federal efforts to combat the growing drug and opioid crisis affecting Pennsylvania.

“Philadelphia has been the epicenter of the drug and addiction crisis that faces too many communities both across Pennsylvania as well as America,” said Sen. Tartaglione. “Bringing together a coalition of bipartisan legislators from both the State House and Senate to have these important conversations is crucial in moving forward and helping Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians recover from the damaging effects of drug addiction.”

The roundtable conversation which was held on Temple University’s campus highlighted the importance of ensuring a seamless partnership between local, state, and federal programs.

“This epidemic is unweaving the very fabric of our Nation, and that’s unacceptable to me and it’s unacceptable to President Biden,” said Dr. Gupta. “That’s why the Administration’s Strategy is focused on addressing two key drivers of the epidemic—untreated addiction and the drug trafficking profits that fuel it. Local and state officials are vital to making sure our collective response matches this historic threat, so I’m glad I had the opportunity to discuss the response to fentanyl, xylazine, and other drug threats with such engaged state legislators. This crisis isn’t a red state or blue state issue—it’s America’s issue. And working together, we can beat this.”

Legislators from across the Commonwealth came together to share their community’s unique perspectives on the opioid and addiction crisis, and how Pennsylvania can use both state and federal resources to help drive recovery and treatment efforts for people suffering from addiction.

The following legislators participated in the roundtable discussion:

  • Sen. Tartaglione
  • Sen. Sharif Street
  • Sen. Jimmy Dillon
  • Sen. John Kane
  • Sen. Dan Laughlin
  • Sen. Camera Bartolotta
  • Senator Michelle Brooks
  • Senator Anthony Williams
  • Rep. Joe Hohenstein
  • Rep. Jose Giral
  • Rep. Anthony Bellmon
  • Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta