The Biden administration will be spending $3.6 million to set up vending machines in rural Kentucky that will distribute drug supplies as part of a project run by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In an interview with the media outlet, Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, president of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police, said more government spending should be aimed at preventing drug abuse rather than making such activities safer.
“If we look at more of a preventive campaign as opposed to an enabling campaign, I think it will offer an opportunity to have safer communities with fewer people who are dependable on these substances,” he said.
Following a public backlash, the White House was forced to pull away from funding the $30 million program. Yet, officials within the Biden administration remain open to similar initiatives.
Overdose Deaths and the Drug CrisisThe Biden administration’s initiative to supply drug paraphernalia in Kentucky comes as the state witnesses high drug overdose deaths.
The 2021 Drug Overdose Report issued on June 13 showed that 2,250 citizens from the state overdosed and died from drugs last year, which is a 14.5 percent increase compared to 2020.
“Our focus over this next year will be on increasing access to clinical care for those suffering from an addiction and offering more harm reduction measures.”
Nationwide, the United States saw 107,000 overdose deaths between December 2020 and December 2021. Seattle and San Francisco, two cities run by Democrats, have also distributed smoking kits to their residents.