The Biden HHS department is about to award $30 million to non-profit groups to distribute “harm reduction” supplies, among them crack pipes.
The $30 million grant program, which closed applications Monday and will begin in May, will provide funds to nonprofits and local governments to help make drug use safer for addicts. Included in the grant, which is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, are funds for “smoking kits/supplies.” A spokesman for the agency told the Washington Free Beacon that these kits will provide pipes for users to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and “any illicit substance.”
HHS said the kits aim to reduce the risk of infection when smoking substances with glass pipes, which can lead to infections through cuts and sores. Applicants for the grants are prioritized if they treat a majority of “underserved communities,” including African Americans and “LGBTQ+ persons,” as established under President Joe Biden’s executive order on “advancing racial equity.”
Other “harm reduction” equipment that qualifies for funding include syringes, vaccinations, disease screenings, condoms, and fentanyl strips. The grant program will last three years and includes 25 awards of up to $400,000.
An HHS spokesman declined to specify what is included in the smoking kits. Similar distribution efforts provide mouthpieces to prevent glass cuts, rubber bands to prevent burns, and filters to minimize the risk of disease.
Also included in this grant program is the installation of “harm reduction” vending machines in high drug-use areas. What is such a thing, you ask?
New York City health officials have announced a plan to install 10 “public health vending machines” that would dispense sterile syringes, an anti-overdose medication and other “harm reduction” supplies in neighborhoods hit hard by drug overdoses. https://t.co/CvaWdZG8XO
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 8, 2022
Naturally, the Canadians are way ahead of us.
— The Independent (@Independent) February 10, 2014
I’m sure this program is well-intentioned and designed to produce outcomes other than jobs for a couple of regiments-worth of little social justice warriors…okay, I’m not sure…but one has to question the wisdom of having the government subsidize the use of illegal drugs. I’m well aware of the studies that seem to indicate that this kind of operation reduces the medical costs of treating various diseases associated with drug use, like HIV and hepatitis variants but, in my view, it seems that is a case of knowing “the cost of everything and the value of nothing.” Thanks to Uncle Sam’s largesse, the communities where these products are distributed are doubly victimized. First, the community needs a critical mass of people addicted to drugs to be selected. This already high number of addicts is maintained, if not increased, by do-gooders enticing still more addicts into the community by handing out free needles and crack pipes. Allegedly, people who participate in these kinds of outreach efforts go into rehab at a higher rate than ordinary addicts. What hasn’t been measured is what impact the ease of access to drug paraphernalia, particularly for highly addictive drugs like meth and crack and heroin, has the perverse effect of creating a perpetual, if not growing, market for those substances.
While the free crack pipes are undoubtedly worthy of mockery, what Biden’s HHS seems to be doing is electing to treat drug addiction as an acceptable status quo (my guess is that more than a small part of this decision is just raw classism, I mean, what do you expect of these people?) at a time when heroin, fentanyl, crack, and meth are devastating an entire generation in both rural and urban America. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen in the Middle East and Europe, managing decline takes a lot less imagination than trying to win.