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WASHINGTON — At a House oversight hearing Thursday, the Biden administration’s top drug policy official emphasized the need to address both mental illness and drug addiction simultaneously to reduce fentanyl deaths.

According to a 2021 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over nine million adults in the U.S. have this co-occuring disorder.


“We’re talking about people who lack the resources they need to treat mental illness, who face stigma in obtaining treatment, and who may self-medicate with alcohol, fentanyl,” said the committee’s ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) in his opening statement. He called on Congress to address the prevalence of untreated mental illness fueling the illicit drug market.

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