The Justice Department is considering implementing supervised sites in underserved communities where they will provide pipes for users to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and other narcotics, in an effort to reduce the risks associated with substance abuse and prevent fatal overdoses.
Known as the “Harm Reduction Program Grant” the $30 million grant program would provide funding to community-based overdose prevention programs, syringe services programs, and other “harm reduction services”.
Funding such overdose and prevention activities will help stem the spread of infectious diseases associated with substance abuse and support the distribution of FDA-approved overdose reversal medication to individuals at risk of overdose, the program stated.
The program will also provide those at risk of developing, or who already have substance abuse issues, with counseling and health education, and “encourage such individuals to take steps to reduce the negative personal and public health impacts of substance use or misuse.”
The funding would also be used to purchase equipment and supplies to “enhance harm reduction efforts,” which includes a harm reduction vending machine—an automated dispensing system stocked with supplies to reduce the risks associated with drug use—and “safe smoking kits/supplies.”