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Biden admin to spend $30 million to give drug addicts ‘safe smoking kits’ and ‘syringes’

President Joe Biden, Nov. 15, 2021, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)
February 09, 2022

President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services is preparing to deliver $30 million in funding for programs that would provide drug addicts with “safe smoking kits” and “syringes.”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) stopped accepting applications on Monday for its FY2022 Harm Reduction Program Grant which is designed to “support community-based overdose prevention programs, syringe services programs, and other harm reduction services.”

SAMHSA said the “harm reduction” funding would be used to bolster prevention activities related to drug overdoses and infectious disease, like HIV, STIs and viral hepatitis.  

Programs should “encourage such individuals to take steps to reduce the negative personal and public health impacts of substance use or misuse,” and federal funding may also be used to “address the stigma often associated with substance use and participation in harm reduction activities.”

The funding will also be used to purchase equipment and supplies used to enhance “harm reduction” efforts, including:

  • Harm reduction vending machine(s), including stock for machines
  • 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 drugs
  • Syringes to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases
  • Vaccination services (hepatitis A, hepatitis B vaccination)
  • Wound care management supplies

A spokesman for Biden’s HHS reportedly told The Washington Free Beacon that the “safe smoking kits” will include pipes for drug users to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and “any illicit substance.”

An HHS public affairs official later denied the Beacon’s report, calling it “blatant misinformation.”

“Blatant misinformation. The Harm Reduction grant is designed to help folks struggling with substance use stay healthy and safe, prevent overdose death. The grants must stick to federal, state, local laws or regs,” tweeted Sarah Lovenheim in response to a video by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in which he addresses the so-called “smoking kits.”

The administration highlighted that the effort is also expected to promote “health equity” as part of President Biden’s executive order on “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.”

“Health equity involves ensuring that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Behavioral health equity is the right to access quality health care for all populations regardless of the individual’s race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or geographical location,” the program description stated. “This includes access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for mental and substance use disorders.”