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The Biden administration is set to place vending machines filled with drug paraphernalia and other supplies in rural Kentucky to help reduce the stigma of drug use and prevent the spread of HIV.
The “outreach service” kiosks will be supplied with injection equipment, naloxone, fentanyl test strips, hygiene kits, condoms, according to a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant awarded last month.
FILE: Hypodermic needles litter the ground
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
“Interest in reduction kiosks is soaring nationwide and the proposed project would provide critical and timely data to inform scale-up of this model, especially in rural areas of the country that have been severely impacted by substance use related harms,” the grant says.
The grant noted that previous harm reduction methods, like syringe service programs (SSPs), failed because of the stigma associated with them.
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The Biden administration first referenced the experiment in an August 31 press release, noting that the FY 2023 budget request to Congress included a $3.2 billion increase in funding for critical public health interventions.
The Washington Free Beacon was the first outlet to report on the Kentucky outreach service kiosk.
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The Beacon reported in February that the Biden administration would fund the distribution of crack pipes through a $30 million Health and Human Services grant program that reimburses local governments and entities that provide safe “smoking kits,” in the name of advancing racial equity and safer drug use for addicts.