Biden’s Harm Reduction Stance Could Be Put To Test In Supreme Court Case On Safe Consumption Sites


The Biden administration’s stance on harm reduction programs to reduce drug overdose deaths may soon be put to the test before the nation’s highest court. A nonprofit that was set to launch a safe consumption site where people could use illicit drugs in a medically supervised environment—until the Trump administration successfully blocked those plans in federal court—filed a petition this week asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case. If the court agrees to hear the dispute, all eyes will be on the Biden Justice Department and whether it will continue the federal government’s opposition to allowing supervised injection facilities. It would be a precedent-setting case that could steer policy for years to come, meaning the Philadelphia-based Safehouse is taking a significant risk by pursuing the appeal before the majority of conservative justices. While President Joe Biden hasn’t weighed in directly on safe consumption sites, there’s been a theme within his administration of embracing the general concept of harm reduction for drugs. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), for example, said that “promoting harm-reduction efforts” is a first-year priority. In an overview of its objectives, the office said it intends to expand “access to evidence-based treatment,” enhance “evidence-based harm reduction efforts” and promote “access to recovery support services.” Also, the president signed a proclamation on Friday designating next week to be Overdose Awareness Week. It says that “we recommit to taking bold actions to prevent overdoses and related deaths, and enhance our support for individuals with substance use disorders” and touts federal funding for “prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services, as well as strategies to reduce the supply of illicit drugs.” All of these goals and initiatives theoretically align with those of Safehouse, which wants to give people with substance use disorders a…

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Source : Biden’s Harm Reduction Stance Could Be Put To Test In Supreme Court Case On Safe Consumption Sites

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