Mental Health

published : 2023-09-29

Texas drug recovery group awarded $800K grant from Biden admin for 'harm reduction' distributes crack pipes

The El Paso Alliance received federal funding meant for harm reduction programs and distributed crack pipes to drug addicts.

A person holding a 'smoke kit' containing harm reduction resources, taken with a Nikon D850.

A drug recovery group in El Paso, Texas, known as the El Paso Alliance, has made headlines for receiving a grant of nearly $800,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The grant was part of the Biden administration's 'harm reduction' program.

The El Paso Alliance, a nonprofit organization, provides individuals with the tools and resources necessary for harm reduction, minimizing self-harm, enhancing recovery, and improving quality of life. Their services include healthcare, disease testing, child care, and the distribution of various harm reduction resources.

However, it has recently come to light that the El Paso Alliance has been distributing crack pipes to drug addicts as part of their harm reduction efforts. The pipes are included in 'smoke kits' provided to those struggling with addiction.

A group of drug recovery participants engaging in a therapy session, taken with a Canon EOS R.

While the HHS' harm reduction program allows for the purchase of 'smoking kits,' it explicitly states that grant funds should not be used to purchase or promote the use of drug paraphernalia, including pipes. Previously, top officials denied reports of crack pipes being included in the kits.

A spokesperson for the HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) clarified that they communicate with grant recipients to ensure federal funds are not misused. Grant recipients are reminded to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

The distribution of crack pipes may also violate Texas state law, which bans the distribution and possession of drug paraphernalia. The El Paso Police Department has not yet commented on whether the El Paso Alliance has violated the law.

A close-up of crack pipes confiscated by law enforcement, highlighting the dangers of drug addiction, taken with a Sony Alpha A7 III.

Other organizations across the country have also received federal grants for harm reduction programs, and some have faced criticism for distributing crack pipes. It remains to be seen what actions may be taken regarding the El Paso Alliance's use of federal funds and distribution practices.