EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY
Washington, D.C. 20503
As the country continues its battle against COVID-19, I am encouraged and inspired, not
only by the efforts of all of our healthcare workers who are helping confront this pandemic, but
also for those individuals dedicated to maintaining high-quality care for non-coronavirus
patients. I write to you today on behalf of some of those individuals, specifically millions of
Americans living with Substance Use Disorder (SUD), and those caring for them.
During these uncertain times, it is important that we not lose sight of the very vulnerable
population suffering from SUDs. This pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives and our
healthcare system. It is critical that those undergoing treatment for SUD continue their
treatment, and it is critical that the healthcare professionals who provide this care are able to
continue to do so during this time. We are working through many different avenues of
communication to ensure that these crucial services remain available.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is already supporting
emergency Federal exemptions to increase access and use of telemedicine in the treatment of
SUD during the COVID-19 pandemic; but we know that in-person patient/provider interactions
will inevitably occur. Treatment providers and all others associated with maintaining this vital
sector of healthcare serve in a critical capacity and will require personal protective equipment
(PPE) during unavoidable face-to-face patient interactions. In line with guidance previously
issued, President Trump’s position is that the treatment of SUD is an essential medical service,
and PPE ordered and requested by facilities treating SUD is for a legitimate need and purpose.
The Trump Administration applauds those who are serving these patients on the front
line; their dedication is overwhelmingly heartening. I trust that this letter serves as my
endorsement that they too need to be protected during these trying times.
James W. Carroll