Coalition Urges Congress to Increase Funding to Address Overdose Crisis

May 2022


May 31, 2022

The Honorable Patty Murray
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Roy Blunt
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
House Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Tom Cole
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
House Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairwoman Murray, Chairwoman DeLauro, and Ranking Members Blunt and Cole: 

The undersigned 334 public health, harm reduction, HIV, hepatitis, criminal justice reform, and community based organizations urge you to increase critical funding to respond to the dramatic and ongoing overdose  crisis by providing $150 million for the Infectious Diseases and the Opioid Epidemic program at the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services  (HHS) in the Labor, HHS appropriations bill. Funding increases would support and expand access to  overdose prevention and syringe services programs (SSPs) to help stem the dramatically increasing number of overdose deaths. Additionally, we urge you to end the ban on the use of federal funding for syringes. 

Funding increases would support and expand access to overdose prevention and syringe services programs (SSPs) to help stem the dramatically increasing number of overdose deaths. Additionally, we urge you to end the ban on the use of federal funding for syringes.

The United States is experiencing an ongoing drug overdose crisis that continues to worsen, with over 106,000 overdose deaths expected to be counted in 2021 and even more in 2022. Overdose deaths recorded during 2021 are expected to have increased by more than 45% over the annual rate from January  2020. Expanding access to overdose prevention and other strategies for reducing harm, such as syringe  services programs (SSPs), is essential to preventing drug overdoses. SSPs have the knowledge, contacts,  and ability to engage and gain the trust of people who use drugs; they provide naloxone and other overdose  prevention resources; and they connect people to medical care and support, including mental health and  substance use disorder treatment including peer and recovery support. Congress must provide funding essential to supporting and expanding access to SSPs during this critical point in the overdose crisis. Additionally, we urge Congress to end the ban on the use of federal funding for the purchase of syringes. 

While there has been a worsening of overdose deaths nationwide, overdoses have increased more  dramatically among Black people and communities of color. Since 2015, overdose deaths have been  rising most rapidly among Black and Hispanic communities. In 2020, Black people had the largest increase  in overdose mortality of 48.8%, while the Hispanic community experienced a 40.1% increase compared to White people who experienced a 26.3% increase. American Indians and Alaska Natives experienced the  highest rate of overdose mortality of all ethnic groups, 30.8% higher than that of white people. A study  from Massachusetts found a 46% reduction in opioid overdose mortality rates with substantially increased  access to naloxone. With additional resources, SSPs could increase ready access to naloxone and its use,  which would save lives.

Currently, the nation has insufficient access to SSPs and most people at risk from overdose need  significantly increased access to services. According to the North American Syringe Exchange Network  (NASEN), there are approximately 400 SSPs operating nationwide. Experts estimate that to sufficiently  expand access to SSP programs, the U.S. would require approximately 2,000 programs – 5 times the  number in existence now. The requested funding increase could provide a 10% increase to currently  operating SSPs to help address funding cuts and shortfalls as well as expand the number of SSPs nationwide  by approximately 50 programs. These additional resources are urgently needed to reduce overdose deaths  and the spread of costly infectious diseases. 

Finally, expanding access to SSPs will reduce health care costs, including for infectious diseases  treatment. The rise in injection drug use associated with opioid use disorder over the past decade is largely  responsible for the 380% increase in hepatitis C cases and has been the cause of HIV outbreaks in  communities across the nation. Hepatitis C treatment can cost more than $30,000 per person, while HIV  treatment can cost upwards of $560,000 per person. Averting even a small number of cases has the potential  to save millions in treatment costs in a single year.  

To help the nation respond to this urgent overdose crisis, we urge Congress to provide $150 million in  funding for the Infectious Diseases and the Opioid Epidemic program at CDC/HHS in the LHHS  appropriations bill and to remove language banning the use of federal funding for syringes. 

Thank you for your time and consideration of this critical request. If you have questions or need additional  information, please do not hesitate to contact William McColl, senior consultant with Collier Collective at Thank you. 


National Organizations

State and Local Organizations

A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing (CA) 
AIDS United (VA) 
AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC) (NY) 
American Academy of HIV Medicine (DC) 
American Atheists (NJ) 
American Liver Foundation (NJ) 
American Medical Women’s Association (IL) 
American Society of Addiction Medicine (MD) 
Association For Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare (TX) 
Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance Use and Addiction (AMERSA) (RI) Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (DC) 
Big Cities Health Coalition (MD) 
Black AIDS Institute (CA) 
Blacks in Law Enforcement of America (DC) 
Center for Disability Rights (NY) 
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers (FL) 
Clary Strategies (CA) 
Coalition on Positive Health Empowerment (NY) 
CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants) (DC) 
DanceSafe (CO) 
Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) (DC) 
Elevyst (PA) 
End Substance Use Disorder (End SUD) (TX) 
Exchange Union (WV)
Facente Consulting (CA) 
Faces & Voices of Recovery (DC) 
Friends of Safehouse (PA) 
Funders Concerned About AIDS (DC) 
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality (DC) Global Liver Institute (DC) 
Harm Reduction Sisters (MN) 
Health in Justice Action Lab (NY) 
HealthHIV (DC) 
Hepatitis C Mentor and Support Group-HCMSG (NY) 
HIV + Hepatitis Policy Institute (DC) 
HIV Dental Alliance (GA) 
HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) (VA) 
In The Works (CA) 
Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc. (MD) 
International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (DC) 
John Snow, Inc. (JSI) (MA) 
Justice Strategies (NY) 
Latino Commission on AIDS (NY) 
Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) (MA) 
Legal Action Center (NY) 
MomsRising (WA) 
MoNetwork (MO) 
Movement for Family Power (NY) 
NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals (VA) 
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) (DC) National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) (DC) National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) (DC) National Center for Lesbian Rights (CA) 
National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) (DC) 
National Council for Mental Wellbeing (DC) 
National Harm Reduction Coalition (NHRC) (CA) 
National Health Care for the Homeless Council (MD) 
National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) (DC) 
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) (WA) 
National Working Positive Coalition (NY) 
NEXT Distro (NY) 
Opioid Crisis Response Fund (OCRF) (PA) 
Partnership to End Addiction (NY) 
People’s Action (IL) 
Prevention Access Campaign – U=U (NY) 
Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS (AL) 
Reframe Health and Justice Consulting (WA) 
Sero Project (IA) 
Smoke Works (MA) (DC) 
Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW), University of Arizona (AZ) SWOP (Sex Worker Outreach Project) Behind Bars (FL) 
The 6:52 Project Foundation (AL) 
The AIDS Institute (DC) 
The Sidewalk Project (CA) 
Trans Research and Resource Solutions Center (IN) 
Transitions Clinic Network (CA) 
Treatment Action Group (NY) 
Treatment Communities of America (DC)
Truth Pharm (NY) 
U.S. People Living with HIV Caucus (MD) 
Vital Strategies (NY) 
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) (DC) 
Yale Program in Addiction Medicine (CT)

AIDS Alabama 
AIDS Alabama South 
Five Horizons Health Services 
GoodWorks: North Alabama Harm Reduction 
Medical Advocacy & Outreach (MAOI) 
THRIVE Alabama 

Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association 

Aunt Rita’s Foundation 
Southwest Recovery Alliance 

Central Arkansas Harm Reduction 

Any Positive Change 
APLA Health 
Asian American Drug Abuse Program (AADAP) 
Asian Liver Center, Stanford University School of Medicine
Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) 
Being Alive – LA 
Bienestar Human Services 
California Consortium of Addiction Programs & Professionals
Christie’s Place 
CLARE | Matrix 
CORE Medical Clinic, Inc. 
DAP Health 
End Hep C SF 
Face to Face 
Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County 
Harm Reduction Services (Sacramento) 
HealthRIGHT 360 
HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda County (HEPPAC)
Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction
MCAVHN Care and Prevention Network 
Northern Valley Harm Reduction Coalition (NVHRC)
Oasis Legal Services 
Public Safety, San Luis Obispo 
Radiant Health Centers 
Safer Alternatives thru Networking & Education (SANE)
San Francisco AIDS Foundation 
San Francisco Hepatitis C Task Force 
SLO Bangers Syringe Exchange and Overdose Prevention Program
The Gubbio Project 
The Honest Demons Club 
The Spahr Center 
The Wall Las Memorias 
The Wildflower Collective 
Transgender Law Center 

Boulder County AIDS Project (BCAP) 
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless 
Harm Reduction Action Center (HRAC) 
High Rockies Harm Reduction (HRHR) 
One Colorado 
Southern Colorado Harm Reduction Association 
Vivent Health 
Young People in Recovery 

Alliance for Living 
Connecticut Harm Reduction Alliance 

Delaware HIV Consortium 
Remedy Alliance 

District of Columbia
Family and Medical Counseling Service, Inc. 
Harm Reduction Experts Improving Lives (HIPS) 
Rebuilding Independence My Style 
Voice For A Second Chance 
Westminster Presbyterian Church 

Florida Harm Reduction Collective 
Hope and Help Center of Central Florida 
NEU Health Solutions, Inc. 
Zero Hour Life Center 


Georgia AIDS Coalition 
Georgia Equality 
Georgia Overdose Prevention 
Just Love More, Inc. 

Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii 
Hawai’i Health & Harm Reduction Center 
Hep Free Hawaii 

North Idaho AIDS Coalition (NIAC) 

Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center 
AIDS Foundation Chicago 
Center for Housing & Health 
GRASP – Broken No More 
Heartland Alliance 
Howard Brown Health 
Illinois Harm Reduction and Recovery Coalition 
JOLT Foundation 
Phoenix Center 
QC Harm Reduction 
The Night Ministry 
The Perfectly Flawed Foundation 
The Porchlight Collective SAP 
The Puerto Rico Project 
West Side Heroin/Opioid Task Force Prevention Partnership, Inc.

A Better Life Brianna’s Hope 
Aspire Indiana Health 
Beyond the Pod 
Community AIDS Action Group of South Central Indiana
Connection Cafe (Fayette County Harm Reduction Alliance)
Foundations Family Medicine 
Granny Connection 
HIV Modernization Movement-Indiana 
Holding Space Recovery Project 
Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition 
Indiana Recovery Alliance 
Mental Health America of Indiana 
Refresh (F5) 
Scott County THRIVE 
Women in Motion

Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition (IHRC) 
Iowa Student Harm Reduction Alliance 


Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition 

Capitol Area Reentry Program Inc. 

Health Equity Alliance 
Maine Access Points 
Maine People’s Alliance 
Needlepoint Sanctuary of Maine 

Addiction Connections Resource 
Advocacy and Training Center (Cumberland) 
Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition 
Maryland Communities United 
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Maryland Chapter (NCADD-MD)
Voices of Hope, Inc. 

Fenway Health 
Law Office of Lisa Newman-Polk 
Material Aid and Advocacy Program 
Tapestry Health Systems 

217 Recovery 
Community Outreach Prevention and Education Network (COPE Network)
Flint Rising 
Harm Reduction Michigan 
HIV AIDS Alliance of Michigan 
Lansing Area AIDS Network (LAAN) 
UNIFIED – HIV Health and Beyond
Wellness Services, Inc. 

Hope House of St. Croix Valley 
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly 
Minnesota people of color LGBTQ pride 
Native American Community Clinic 
Rainbow Health 
Southside Harm Reduction Services 
University of Minnesota Youth and AIDS Projects 

End It For Good 
Vivent Health 

Addiction Science Unit, Missouri Institute of Mental Health, University of Missouri
The Missouri Network For Opiate Reform and Recovery 

Open Aid Alliance 

Nebraska AIDS Project 

Trac-B Exchange 

New Hampshire
HIV/HCV Resource Center 
New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition 

New Jersey
New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition 
New Jersey Policy Perspective 
South Jersey AIDS Alliance (SJAA) 

New Mexico
Casa de Salud 
Law Enforcement Training International 
The Mountain Center 
Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico 

New York

A Little Piece of Light 
Alliance for Positive Change 
Black Harm Reduction Network 
Bronx Móvil 
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center 
Center for Motivation and Change 
College and Community Fellowship 
Community Action for Social Justice (CASJ) 
Ed for All 
Exponents, Inc. 
Harlem United Syringe Exchange Program 
Harm Reduction Caucus at Columbia School of Social Work
Housing Works, Inc. (HRS) 
Michael Galipeau Consulting 
NAMI Huntington 
New York Transgender Advocacy Group 
RAW- Recovery All Ways 
Second Chance Opportunities 
Southern Tier AIDS Program 
St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction  
TCC Group 

North Carolina
Advocacy House 
Benevolence Farm 
ekiM for Change 
Fruit of Labor Action Research & Technical Assistance, LLC
Holler Harm Reduction 
North Carolina AIDS Action Network 
North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition 
Smoky Mountain Harm Reduction 
Twin City Harm Reduction Collective 
Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP)
Wilkes Recovery Revolution, Inc. 

North Dakota
Fargo Cass Public Health 
Grand Forks Public Health 

Caracole Prevention Program 
River Valley Organizing 
Showing Up for Racial Justice Ohio 
Thrive Peer Recovery Services 
Writers in Residence 


Oklahoma Harm Reduction Alliance 

Caring Ambassadors Program 
HIV Alliance 

Black and Latinx Community Control Philadelphia
Daniel J. Orens Foundation, Inc. 
Family Services Association of Bucks County
Friends of POPN 
Friends of Safehouse 
March Fo(u)rth Consulting 
Operation in My Back Yard 
PA Harm Reduction Network 
Pathways to Housing PA 
Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Network 
Philadelphia Housing Action 
Philadelphia Overdose Prevention Network 
Prevention Point Pittsburgh 
Reclaim Philadelphia 
SELF Inc. 
Why Not Prosper 

Puerto Rico
Coalición de Coaliciones Pro Personas sin Hogar de PR, Inc.
El Punto en la Montaña, Inc 
Hermanxs de la Calle / Boutique Comunitaria por Urbe Apie
Intercambios Puerto Rico, Inc. 
Pacientes de SIDA
Pro Política Sana 

Rhode Island
Project Weber/RENEW 
RI Communities for Addiction Recovery Efforts (RICARES)

South Carolina 
Challenges Inc 
PALSS, inc. 

South Dakota
South Dakota Urban Indian Health 

A Betor Way 
Street Works

Legacy Community Health Services, Inc.  
Lets Grow Beautifully Together Qmunity Center 
Prism Health North Texas 
Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (THRA) 
Vivent Health 

ONE VOICE Recovery, Inc. 
Utahns Against Hunger 

AIDS Project of Southern Vermont 
Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform 

Virginia Rural Health Association (VRHA) 

Blue Mountain Heart To Heart 
Conspiracy of Geniuses 
Cowlitz Family Health Center Harm Reduction Program
Dave Purchase Project 
Public Health – Seattle & King County 
The People’s Harm Reduction Alliance 
Voices of Community Activists and Leaders, Washington (VOCAL-WA)

West Virginia 
Milan Puskar Health Right 
West Virginia Hepatitis Academic Mentoring Partnership (WVHAMP)
WV Citizen Action Group 

Community Advocates, Inc. 
Vivent Health 

Recover Wyoming