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Harm Reduction Funding Included in the American Rescue Plan

Daniel Moritz-Rabson
Publication Date: May 27, 2021

The legislation allocates $30 million for a range of harm reduction services and spell out a seismic change for the federal government’s approach to harm reduction. It is the first time the federal government has ever provided funding for such services.

The legislation directs grants to be provided “to support States; local, Tribal and territorial governments; Tribal organizations; nonprofit community-based organizations; and primary and behavioral health organizations to support community-based overdose prevention programs, syringe services programs and other harm reduction services.”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will have to more thoroughly detail the list of programs eligible to receive the funds, the legislation states that grants will be given to help control the spread of infectious diseases (like HIV and hepatitis C), distribute overdose reversal medications (like naloxone) and provide overdose education, among other uses.

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