420 with CNW — ONDCP Director Open to Harm-Reduction Intervention to Manage Overdose Crisis

December 17, 2021 16:25:44

Top health officials in the Biden administration have been promoting harm reduction for a while now. Recently, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Rahul Gupta, stated that exploring every option to decrease deaths caused as a results of overdoses was crucial, noting that the options included allowing sites for the safe consumption of illicit substances if evidence supported their effectiveness.

When asked about the launch of a pair of safe consumption sites in the state of New York late last month and whether he supported it, Gupta stated that he was interested in examining the data and science behind the new harm-reduction practices being implemented. He explained that harm reduction was an important tool, given the current crisis, which was why the administration had made it part of its policy.

While the Biden administration’s policy on safe injection sites is still a bit vague, the director’s comments show an openness to harm-reduction intervention. Safe injection sites are controversial in the United States as the federal statute under the constitution known as the crack house statute makes it illegal to use a location to manufacture, distribute or consume controlled substances.

During a briefing on federal harm-reduction grants, Secretary Xavier Becerra of the Department of Health and Human Services was also asked about overdose prevention facilities. When asked about harm-reduction centers, Becerra stated that the administration was examining ways to support research on the efficacy of new practices, noting that they were focused on whether these practices were also effective in real world settings. He added that stigma only induced fear, secrecy and silence, which made it harder to save the lives of those suffering from addiction.

As the conversation on substance misuse and drug policy evolves, the support for the establishment of harm reduction centers continues to grow. A coalition comprised of 80 former and current law enforcement officials and prosecutors have filed a brief that urges the Supreme Court to look into the Safehouse consumption case again. The case involves a Philadelphia not-for-profit organization known as Safehouse, which was sued by the Department of Justice in 2019 to prevent the launch of its safe injection site. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court declined a request to hear a case on the legality of the establishment of said facilities.

Apart from the state of New York, Gov. Daniel McKee of Rhode Island has also signed a measure to establish a safe injection site pilot program.

It might also be beneficial to look into potential benefits marijuana products from licensed actors such as American Cannabis Partners can have in the fight against the overdose crisis since the situation needs concerted efforts from all possible directions.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to American Cannabis Partners are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACP

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