Dr. Rahul Gupta in a helicopter
Dr. Rahul Gupta tours the border in a Coast Guard helicopter. Photo courtesy of Gupta’s office

The Biden administrations’ drug czar visited San Diego on Saturday to announce a new plan to address the methamphetamine epidemic and its impact on public health.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, toured the border in a Coast Guard helicopter, inspected a smuggling tunnel and spoke at a press conference.

“The tragic rise in methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths requires immediate action,” said Gupta. 

“This bold, new action plan builds on the President’s National Drug Control Strategy by expanding access to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and harm reduction strategies, as well as reducing the supply of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs by going after drug trafficking organizations,” he said.

The announcement comes at a time when overdose deaths involving methamphetamine are on the rise and increases in seizures of counterfeit pills are being reported.

The federal plan is designed to reduce methamphetamine use, prevent meth overdoses, expand access to evidence-based treatment, and reduce the trafficking and supply of methamphetamine.

Gupta, an immigrant from India, was director of the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health and chief medical officer of the March of Dimes before his presidential appointment.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.