National Harm Reduction Summit

In December, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) co-hosted a two-day National Harm Reduction Summit with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The virtual summit convened a diverse group of partners and experts from local, tribal, state and federal governments and non-government organizations. The group included representatives from the fields of harm reduction, substance use prevention, treatment, recovery, and criminal justice. One of the goals of the summit was to develop a framework of harm reduction for SAMHSA to help guide policies, programs, and practices at the agency.

The Summit followed announcements of the SAMHSA's $30 million harm reduction grant program and ONDCP's announcement of model laws for syringe services programs (SSPs) and naloxone access.

Related to the SSPs, the model law would, "Delineate the required components for syringe services programs operating within states, including that such programs directly provide, or offer referrals to, expanded services including substance use disorder treatment." SOS continues to advocate for the inclusion of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) as an essential feature of any harm reduction strategy and that these strategies fit into a continuum of care model addressing substance abuse and achieving recovery.

Read the White House press release