Resources throughout the harm reduction community are always evolving which is a beautiful thing. For many people who are looking for information on how to begin building a program it can be overwhelming. We have provided links and tools below from fellow friends and harm reductionists who have created programs, strategies, funding opportunities and technical assistance forms to provide some guidance.
Bernie and Dave

Photo created by Mark Kinzly original photo taken in 1989 photo by David Brandt

Funding Opportunities

  • AIDS United Syringe Access Fund
    The Syringe Access Fund (SAF) is a national grantmaking collaborative that supports service providers and policy projects that reduce use of shared syringes and ensure their safe disposal. For over a decade, SAF has made remarkable impact on public policy and public health, awarding more than $20 million through 409 grants to 177 organizations in 33 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. $17.7 million to 150 organizations in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. With this support, grantees have distributed over 66 million syringes to more than 350,000 clients and have led advocacy efforts to change laws around the country, so these programs can reach more people in need.
  • Comer Family Foundation Grant Opportunities
    Since 1992, the Comer Family Foundation has offered a grant making program to support comprehensive harm reduction programs that improve the health and wellness of people who use drugs. These programs provide free sterile syringes, education, and community wraparound services to reduce opioid overdose and the transmission of HIV and viral hepatitis.
  • Federal Funding for Syringe Services Programs
    The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 permits use of funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under certain circumstances, to support SSPs, with the exception that funds may not be used to purchase needles or syringes. Learn more here.
  • MAC AIDS Fund
    The M∙A∙C AIDS Fund has provided support to several of amfAR’s programs, including global and domestic efforts to reduce the spread and impact of HIV among those most vulnerable to infection. This has included several grants for research and advocacy on syringe exchange programs. Most recently, M∙A∙C has provided critical support to amfAR’s global advocacy work, focusing on efforts to track progress by national governments and international donors toward implementing effective AIDS programming to end the epidemic.
  • NACCHO Funding Opportunity DUE MAY 21ST 2021
    NACCHO is pleased to announce a funding opportunity to promote monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of syringe services programs (SSPs) and support the use of data for SSP program improvement. With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in partnership with the University of Washington (UW), NACCHO will provide funding and technical assistance to local health department (LHD) and community-based SSPs to strengthen M&E efforts and systems. For the purposes of this funding opportunity, M&E includes routine (e.g., intake or encounter-level) and periodic (e.g., surveys) and quantitative or qualitative data collection, management, analysis, evaluation, and reporting. Applicants can request up to $98,750 to support project activities.

Harm Reduction Technical Assistance (TA) Request Form

  • Harm Reduction TA Request Form
    (Please note this assistance is provided through the CDC.) Syringe services programs (SSPs) are a proven effective component of community-based programs preventing the spread of infectious disease from drug use. The National Harm Reduction Technical Assistance Center is designed to strengthen the capacity and improve the performance of SSPs throughout the United States by supporting enhanced technical assistance (TA) to ensure the provision of high-quality, comprehensive harm reduction services. This TA will strengthen the capacity of organizations to implement comprehensive, sustainable SSPs, improve services provided, and improve national understanding of drug use patterns and access to prevention and intervention services to prevent infectious disease consequences of drug use.

Partnering for Supplies

Direct ReliefNext Distro
  • Direct Relief
    In response to the opioid epidemic in the United States, Direct Relief has worked with Pfizer to provide more than 1 million doses of overdose-reversing Naloxone at no cost to community health centers, free and charitable clinics, public health departments and other nonprofit providers nationwide. Naloxone can rapidly revive normal breathing in an individual who has overdosed on heroin or prescription opioid medications. Direct Relief operates the nation’s largest charitable medicine program, is licensed to distribute prescription drugs in all 50 states, and is the only humanitarian nonprofit designated as a verified-accredited wholesale distributor by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Future shipments will include needles, syringes and alcohol swabs, which BD has donated to support the effort.
  • NEXT Distro
    The mission of NEXT is to reduce opioid overdose death, prevent injection-related disease transmission, and improve the lives of people who use drugs through an accessible online and mail-based harm reduction platform. Our goal is to bring harm reduction online. We want to ensure people who use drugs receive the supplies, resources, education, and support that they would if they walked into an in-person harm reduction program. We believe everyone who uses drugs should have the resources and ability to keep themselves as safe and as healthy as possible. This includes physical and emotional health. Since beginning mailings in 2018, NEXT has shipped over 20,000 packages to low and no-access communities across the United States.

Strategies for Syringe Service Programs

  • A Guide to Establishing SSPs in Rural, At-Risk Areas
    Key points included: Increasing rates of injection drug use have led to increased rates of infectious disease in rural areas, rural areas have fewer syringe services programs than urban areas, syringe services programs reduce blood borne disease and syringe services programs are cost effective.
  • A Technical Package of Effective Strategies
    Syringe Services Programs: A Technical Package of Effective Strategies and Approaches for Planning, Design, and Implementation. This technical package is a product of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Bringing Harm Reduction to the Black Community
    Imani Woods was born in Brooklyn, NY and dedicated her life working to improve the lives of Black women and drug users across the country. Imani was a founder of the Harm Reduction Coalition and served as the Executive Director of the harm reduction organization SOS in Seattle, WA.
  • Determination of Need for Syringe Services Programs
    The table provided on this page lists the jurisdictions that have consulted CDC and have been determined to have adequately demonstrated need according to federal law, along with contact information for the point of contact regarding the determination of need for that jurisdiction.
  • Development and Implementation Guidelines
    Syringe Service Program (SSP) Development and Implementation Guidelines for State and Local Health Departments. These guidelines provide assistance to state and local health department jurisdictions that wish to support SSPs for IDUs to prevent transmission of HIV and other blood-borne viruses such as HCV and to link IDUs to vital prevention, medical and social services. For health departments currently implementing SSPs, these program implementation guidelines provide information that can be used to enhance or expand services. For health departments interested in initiating an SSP, these guidelines address key issues to be considered before implementing an SSP.
  • Guide to Starting and Managing for SSPs
    This guide is designed to assist in expanding the response to HIV among injecting drug users globally. To do this, many more NSPs will need to be established. Sections I and II of this guide aim to foster this process. Many existing NSPs also need to expand the services that they offer and greatly increase their coverage. How to do this is the topic of sections III and IV. The scaling up of programmes must also include the establishment of many more NSPs in prisons and detention centres.
  • Syringe Distribution Laws by State
    Historically, state laws have created barriers that make it difficult for injection drug users (IDUs) to access sterile syringes by criminalizing distribution and possession of those syringes. IDUs are more likely to share syringes in states with restrictive laws, which can lead to the spread of blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Syringe distribution policies affect how easy or difficult it will be for IDUs to access sterile syringes. As awareness of this public health issue has increased, many states have amended their laws to remove barriers to access. This is a longitudinal dataset, capturing changes in syringe distribution laws from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2017.
  • Syringe Possession Laws by State
    When it is illegal to possess syringes under state law, injection drug users (IDUs) are more likely to share or reuse syringes, which can lead to the spread of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDs and other blood-borne diseases. Over time, some states have decriminalized possession of syringes by removing the mention of syringes, explicitly excluding syringes from their criminal drug paraphernalia laws, or allowing very small amounts of residue on syringes possessed by IDUs. Syringe possession policies affect how easy or difficult it can be for IDUs to access sterile syringes. This is a longitudinal dataset, capturing changes in syringe possession laws from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2017.
  • Syringe Service Program Laws by State
    This is a cross-sectional dataset that presents state-level statutes and regulations that impact SSPs in effect as of August 1, 2019. The map identifies the method of authorization for SSPs, requirements for the establishment of SSPs, the types of services provided directly and by referral, drug paraphernalia possession laws, and whether an SSP is operating in the jurisdiction.

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