Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), is overseeing a progressive drug control strategy that largely rests on the concept of harm reduction, experts tell The New York Times.
The strategy is focused on helping people who use substances to reduce their risk of dying or acquiring infectious diseases, instead of achieving abstinence. Harm reduction includes providing sterile needles for injection, tools to check substances for fentanyl and the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. President Biden is the first president to support a harm reduction approach, the article notes.
Gupta recently said he could not weigh in on the issue of supervised consumption sites, where people bring their own substances to take under the supervision of trained workers in case they overdose. The Justice Department is expected to decide soon whether a planned supervised consumption site that it had blocked three years ago can open. “All of us are enthusiastically waiting” for the department to announce its decision, Gupta said.