It’s similar to other “harm reduction” efforts nationwide.

By Lucas Manfield July 07, 2023 at 1:05 pm PDT

The Multnomah County Health Department will begin distributing tinfoil and straws this month to fentanyl smokers at sites across Portland, WW has learned.

The “smoking supplies,” which also include glass pipes for smoking meth and crack as well as “snorting kits,” are part of a national effort to minimize the health consequences of drug use. Smoking is considered by many health experts a safer way of consuming hard drugs than injection, and government officials are now seeking to encourage users who haven’t already switched to do so—and to make it safer for those who already have.

The Oregon Legislature just passed a bill decriminalizing the distribution of “drug paraphernalia” for harm reduction purposes, although it awaits Gov. Tina Kotek’s signature. There are similar programs in other states, including Washington and California. New York City recently installed a vending machine with smoking kits, including bubble pipes.

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