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Workers fighting America’s overdose crisis are ‘hanging by a thread’

President Biden has endorsed “harm reduction,” which aims to cut down on overdoses by encouraging safer drug use. But the organizations carrying out that strategy are severely underfunded.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Mr Biden, the first president to endorse the strategy, highlighted the federal government’s attention to some of the core features of harm reduction work, including a provision in a recently enacted spending package that makes it easier for doctors to prescribe buprenorphine, an effective addiction medication that Ms Krauss works to get to drug users. During his speech, Mr Biden recognised the father of a 20-year-old from New Hampshire who died from a fentanyl overdose, citing the more than 70,000 Americans dying each year from the potent synthetic opioid.

But two years after Mr Biden took office, with the nation’s drug supply increasingly complex and deadly, the practice of harm reduction remains underfunded and partially outlawed in many states.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: New York Times, 10 February 2023


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