On May 9, 2024, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released its 2024 National Drug
Threat Assessment (NDTA), a comprehensive strategic evaluation of illicit drug threats
impacting the United States. The 2024 NDTA primarily focuses on the continuing shift in illegal
drug supply from plant-based drugs to synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl and methamphetamine,
and the global criminal enterprises and supply chain networks developed by major foreign drug

The 2024 NDTA highlights that “fentanyl and other synthetic drugs, like methamphetamine, are
responsible for nearly all of the fatal drug overdoses and poisonings in our country.” In 2022,
synthetic opioids alone were involved in 74,225 deaths, accounting for 68 percent of the total
estimated fatal drug poisonings in the United States. According to the report, the DEA’s top
priority is reducing the supply of deadly drugs in the United States and focusing on the cartels
responsible for the majority of drug trafficking.

However, the DEA has focused much of its effort in recent years on policing physicians’
prescribing practices, despite lacking the authority to regulate the practice of medicine. It is
CUSP’s position that questions pertaining to medical need and patient care should be first
assessed by state licensing boards, not law enforcement. In line with the 2024 NDTA, CUSP
urges the DEA to better protect public safety and health by prioritizing its efforts on the criminal
networks responsible for the influx of deadly illicit drugs into the U.S.