White House Director Discusses Cannabis, Drug Injection Sites
The first doctor to hold the position of Director of the Office of National Drug Policy, Dr. Rahul Gupta, recently spoke with the Financial Times about how they plan to address the ongoing opioid crisis. “For the first time in history, the federal government is embracing the specific policies of harm reduction,” Gupta said. Over 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Two thirds of those deaths were attributed to Fentanyl overdoses. In May, the Biden Administration announced that it would be providing $1.5 billion to a State Opioid Response grant funding opportunity (a follow-up to President Biden’s promise in his State of the Union). “At this time, less than one out of 10 people in the United States who need addiction care get it. That is why, President Biden released a National Drug Control Strategy to beat the overdose epidemic by going after its drivers: untreated addiction and drug trafficking,” Gupta said in May. “Today we are delivering on key parts of our Strategy through this new funding, which will expand access to treatment for substance use disorder and prevent overdoses, while we also work to reduce the supply of illicit drugs in our communities and dismantle drug trafficking.” Harm reduction policies and monitoring policies have been implemented in some regions of Europe and Australia, but progress in the U.S. is hindered by legislators who believe it would only promote drug abuse and access. While the country’s first two supervised drug-injection sites opened in New York in November 2021 to help prevent overdoses, an Appellate Court stated in January that these sites are illegal under Federal law. “The Department supports efforts to curb the opioid crisis ravaging this country, but injection sites are not the solution,” said Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A.…
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