Feds secure funding for drug harm reduction investigations into safe consumption sites and decriminalization

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Amid a lingering overdose pandemic in the United States, leading federal health agency the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is striving to advance studies into the value of various harm reduction policies.  Included in the NIH’s efforts – which were announced on Wednesday, December 29 – are strategies for decriminalization and safe substance consumption sites. Specifically, the NIH issued a request for application (RFA) to obtain adequate funding for investigations into the prospective benefits of implementing harm reduction policies during the drug crisis. According to an official statement from the NIH, the agency wants to establish a Harm Reduction Network that seeks to “increase our understanding of the effectiveness, implementation and impact of existing and new harm reduction practices to address the ongoing opioid crisis and substance use disorder more broadly.” A similar RFA urges for the establishment of a coordination center within the system. The center would be focused on “research and clinical practice resources,” “logistical and coordination support” and “data harmonization and data sharing supports.” Application process is open for numerous projects  The newly-issued notices from NIH and associated organizations – including the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – describe the “emerging” harm reduction policies as the “decriminalization of various drugs, police and prosecutor-driven deflection and diversion efforts and the authorization of safe consumption sites.” At the current time, applications are open for plans that cover the following: “Developing and testing new harm reduction strategies;” “examining how to effectively implement new and existing harm reduction strategies;”  “expanding the settings and delivery models through which harm reduction strategies are deployed;” “examining the impact of new harm reduction policies implemented at state and local levels.” The notice goes on to say that the agency’s services will include tactics for reducing harm, as well as schemes that successfully deter people from participating in substance use-related…

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Source : Feds secure funding for drug harm reduction investigations into safe consumption sites and decriminalization

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