EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to give additional information with updated responses from the White House. A previous headline on this article stated pipes would be included in the program.
WASHINGTON (WTAJ) — To limit infections among drug users, the Biden administration is creating a $30 million grant program for non-profits to purchase ‘harm reduction materials’ among other things.
Originally, it was believed that one of the aspects, ‘smoking kits,’ would include a clean crack pipe. The White House released information Wednesday afternoon to clarify things.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing that reports that crack pipes would be included in the safe smoking kits being distributed as part of the program were inaccurate.
“Even though this has never been a part of what’s been funded, we felt it was important to put out a public statement from the federal government to make that clear, because we saw the spreading of misinformation and the fact that it was having an impact on a range of communities,” Psaki said. “And we felt, even though it was never true, that we needed to put out a proactive statement.”
Psaki said the safe smoking kits being distributed as part of a $30 million harm reduction program might include materials such as alcohol swabs, lip balm, clean syringes and other materials intended to promote hygiene and reduce the risk of spreading diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
While the smoking kits reportedly aim to reduce the risk of infections for people who smoke substances, the Harm Reduction funding can also help with the following:
- Infectious diseases testing kits (HIV, HBV, HCV, etc.);
- Medication lock boxes;
- FDA-approved overdose reversal medication(as well as higher dosages
- now approved by FDA);
- Safe sex kits, including PrEP resources and condoms;
- Safe smoking kits/supplies;
- Screening for infectious diseases (HIV, sexually transmitted infections,
- viral hepatitis);
- Sharps disposal and medication disposal kits;
- Substance test kits, including test strips for fentanyl and other synthetic
- Syringes to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases;
- Vaccination services (hepatitis A, hepatitis B vaccination); and
- Wound care management supplies.
In addition, funding can also help with key personnel, education, and require things such as assembling a harm reduction advisory council that meets regularly to guide program activities and project implementation, according to the federal grant outline.
You can read the entire 75-page Harm Reduction grant form by clicking here.