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Needle Exchange Funding Returns in Senate Appropriations Bill

The Harm Reduction Coalition has reported that language authorizing the use of federal funds for needle exchange programs has been included in the Senate's Fiscal Year 2013 Labor, Health & Human Services appropriations bill. Funding had been approved for FY 2010 and 2011, but the formerly longstanding ban on federal funding was reinstated in December for FY 2012.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is expected to once again vote for the ban on needle exchange funding in its version of the appropriations bill. Having funding language in the Senate version will give Senate negotiators something to negotiate on needle exchange when the bills are reconciled, which probably won't happen until after the November elections.

The language approved by the Senate is compromise language that only bans federal funding "in any location that has been determined by the local public health or local law enforcement authorities to be inappropriate for such distribution." The Harm Reduction Coalition calls that language "consistent with what we advocated for" and notes that the same language allowed needle exchanges in 10 jurisdictions and multiple SAMSHA-funded programs to use federal funds.

The Senate appropriations bill also includes some other good harm reduction news. In its non-binding report, it calls for an overdose prevention public awareness campaign. That report does not specifically mention the anti-overdose drug naloxone, which the Coalition had sought, and the Coalition said it would continue to lobby on that issue.

And, like last year, the bill includes $10 million for viral hepatitis screening. The funding announcement for those dollars from last year's bill has now been released and includes $1.6 million for hepatitis C testing and referrals to programs reaching out to injection drug users, including needle exchanges.

The report accompanying the FY 2013 bill also "notes the high incidence of hepatitis among injection drug users and urges SAMHSA to implement viral hepatitis testing as a standard of care in drug-treatment programs, consistent with the HHS Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis."

Washington, DC
United States
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yay!!!!!!! not really

yay!!! yippie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




hey what the heck?!


i bet if this was "rolling paper exchange funding returns in senate appropriations bill" there'd be a hundred comments here.


anyhoot, im so happy i hope they dont screw this up this time...


and you know what? no, im not so happy. lol. i mean, about this anyway. this would be nice. on the scale of "nice things the gov't can do for heroin/opiate lovers and or drug users that use syringes" this would be a 3.


uh...from the perspective of a banger for years not knee, elbow, chin or hair deep but completely happily and willingly and totally consentual drowned in diacetylmorphine subculture use and world, needle exchange is a "meh" deal. most of us dont really care. most of us dont really care or have the time or desire to go to needle exchange, deal with the political BS there and believe it or not, most situations for us in our world are such where we dont have dirty works to give them in exchange for clean works.


this deal is good for that... i mean no offense though knowing my brethren and their lack of enthusiasm for reform and the stupid prohibition influenced guilt that has prevented them from getting to the place in their life that i am where you can wear clothes proudly in public like a 420 shirt or pot leaf etc. nevertheless, its pretty much the new or generally new to diacetylmorphine who like this. when you get to the point that prohibition forces upon us, which is, due to the mechanisms of prohibition where an 80 cent pill that would probably cost a  dollar in the regulated market is now 25-30 dollars or dope which should be 5-7 bucks a bag is running people 15-20, well, ive figured unless your in the 6 digit income situation your going to end up in this situation: no money, breaking laws, stealing etc. to fund your habit. homelessness or shelter living or whatever you find thats also in store. this period can last a long time depending on the persons resourcefulness. anyhow, in that way, first of all, our priority besides acquiring heroin or other opiates, is not getting arrested. thats right, not allowing the dumbest caste in our society, the caste that is the population that becomes police, from finding us doing something we want to do to ourselves, thats right ,something that we want to do, entirely, to ourselves, they find us and imprison us. Not getting arrested is a high priority for alot of us. what that also means is we are usually very careful about when and where we have our works, mmmkay. usually the start of the day, for the less clever and for the ones with less will power to perserve from the night before, and this is indeed the majority, involves excruciating pain, vomitting etc. before devoting much of the early day to getting enough money for a wakeup. now, heres the deal, my pot loving friends, what this looks like varies. alot of times its hustle. but, for the true veterans, we're long burnt out from lying to random people. we're too exhausted, too sick, to run around talking to people. indeed a 23 year old, lets say, veteran, indeed would sit stoic and exhausted and ill and look at amazement at say, the 40 year old new to the lifestyle person running around scheming this one or that one with tales of a broken care, needing a bus/train/whatever ticket. i mean, the 23 year old would recall when he could do that, but, at a certain point you just cant do anything but sit there, perhaps with a sign, and wait. this can take a long time and remember its everyday and its one of the very public parts of our set up so theres absolutely no way we have dirty works on us at this time. after getting the money you can go and get your dirty works and go and get your stuff OR you can go and get your stuff return to your somewhat safe heaven and bang away the sickness. now at this point, youve bought yourself time its true. but probably not more than 2 hours. bought yourself time i mean you feel great, sensational. better than anybody in the world, regardless if theyve also just smoked or sniffed anything unless its one of the family of what you did. nevertheless its during this sensational time that you probably want to begin going after the days main haul of cash for the real amount of stuff you need. that morning purchase is very small, basically the as soon as i get enough cash for one or two im off type thing. for most of us, it takes alot alot alot more than that. indeed during the sensational time that 23 year old veteran will feel in his prime again and put that 40 year old newbie to shame. nevertheless, once again you store everything away safetly, depart for the public and make that cash. now this is the truth. it varies here and there. but for the lot of us i think its real safe to say thanks but no thanks for needle exchange. we just dont have the time and we just really dont care enough. do some serious work, ok guys? like, make pot legal so we can get a serious reform world going. yeah, stop fooling around with silly useless needle exchange and get some real work done. and if you are serious about helping US well thanks, ok, and yea you can, take a look at NAOMI and SALOME. we dont need a trial, it works. it works like the hands of christ when the ailment is death and the desired result is resurrection - lol. no stupid trials, just implement it. throw stupid methadone, naloxone (except for ODs but just narcan is fine) and buprenorphine and all his silly kids, subutex, suboxone etc - throw those waste of time pieces of crap into your prohibition machine and just give our lot NAOMI and SALOME in proper, fully established, no danger of shortages or shut downs mode and you will have helped us, thats what you can do for us - aside from ending this stupid prohibition, that is. needle exchange????


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