Addiction Policy News

ASAM Supports Funding for Harm Reduction Services in Next COVID-19 Relief Package

July 14, 2020

 

On July 14, ASAM and 154 other organizations sent a letter urging Senate leadership to include $58 million for syringe services programs (SSPs) and other harm reduction service providers in the next COVID-19 relief package. The organizations also asked for the removal of the ban on the use of federal funds to purchase syringes and other related supplies in the next COVID-19 relief package and in the FY21 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill.

 

The letter stressed the importance of SSPs and other harm reduction services, noting that the AMA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recognized the critical importance of SSPs in addressing both the addiction crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, while opioid overdoses and deaths are spiking, SSPs are scaling back services or closing due to a combination of factors including expected shortfalls in state and local budgets, and reductions in workforce. Therefore, it is critical that Congress provide funding for these SSPs, so that they can continue to deliver vital services to those suffering from addiction. 

 

Read the letter here.