OASH Efforts to Support Syringe Services Programs in Vulnerable Communities
The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) has launched an effort led by the 10 Regional Health Administrators (RHAs) to support the expansion of Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) in communities across the nation vulnerable to outbreaks of hepatitis C and/or HIV among persons who inject drugs.
The RHAs are working in partnership with the OASH Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other federal, state, and local stakeholders to generate awareness about SSPs and their effectiveness, support programs, and explore strategic opportunities.
As an initial activity under this multiyear effort, the RHAs presented a webinar series highlighting resources, policies, and assistance for developing and expanding SSPs in diverse settings and in different communities across the country. Designed for a broad audience of stakeholders, including providers of viral hepatitis, HIV, and/or substance abuse prevention and treatment, and SSP partners as well as law enforcement and state and local legislators, the three webinars were held in 2019.
Webinar 1: Syringe Services Programs – A Critical Public Health Intervention
View this July 2019 webinar in which leaders from across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services discuss how SSPs can save lives, combat the nation’s opioid crisis, reduce the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C, and support individuals in accessing treatment services for substance use disorder/opioid use disorder. Download the slides (PDF, 5.4 MB). Content is undergoing 508 review and will be updated pending remediation. For immediate assistance, please contact: Corinna.Dan@hhs.gov.
Webinar 2: Syringe Services Programs – State and Local Perspectives on the Role of Policy, Funding, and Partnerships
View this September 2019 webinar, the second in this series, which features examples from state government showcasing effective implementation of SSPs through policy and practice. Presenters highlight experiences in gaining statewide support and community buy-in, crafting policy and bringing it to practice, and building strong partnerships with local communities to support SSP growth. Download the slides (PDF, 3.6 MB). Content is undergoing 508 review and will be updated pending remediation. For immediate assistance, please contact: Corinna.Dan@hhs.gov.
Webinar 3: Syringe Services Programs – The Essential Roles of Non-Governmental and Community-Based Organizations
View this November 2019 webinar, the final webinar in this series, which highlights different ways in which non-governmental organizations are sponsoring or supporting community-based SSPs to help combat the opioid crisis and prevent the spread of infectious disease linked to injection drug use. Download the slides (PDF, 3.2 MB). Content is undergoing 508 review and will be updated pending remediation. For immediate assistance, please contact: Corinna.Dan@hhs.gov.
Prior to this webinar, the Assistant Secretary for Health published an HHS blog, “Substance Misuse, Infectious Disease, and the Powerful Potential of Syringe Service Programs,” emphasizing that SSPs are a powerful convergence point for tackling both substance misuse and infectious diseases, and are part of the HHS comprehensive 5-Point Strategy to combat opioid misuse.
HIV.gov – Syringe Services Programs
HIV.gov – Using Federal Funding to Support SSPs
Resources from National Partners and States
As OASH partners with federal, state, and local stakeholders to generate awareness about SSPs and their effectiveness, the RHAs will share resources identified from national partners and states to provide information on effective examples and strategies for stakeholders interested in SSPs.
COVID-19 Policy Recommendations for OUD, Pain, Harm Reduction (American Medical Association)
Addressing the Rise of Infectious Disease Related to Injection Drug Use: Lessons Learned from Kentucky (National Governors Association)
State Approaches to Addressing the Infectious Disease Consequences of the Opioid Epidemic: Insights from an NGA Learning Lab (National Governors Association)
A Guide to Establishing Syringe Services Programs in Rural At-Risk Areas (Comer Family Foundation)
Building Successful Partnerships between Law Enforcement and Public Health Agencies to Address Opioid Use (Police Executive Research Forum)
Ten Standards of Care: Policing and The Opioid Crisis – #7 Prevent Outbreaks (Police Executive Research Forum)
Addressing the Opioid Epidemic and Preventing the Spread of Infectious Disease Through the Provision of Syringe Services Program (South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health)
Impacts of the Opioid Epidemic on Related Diseases (Pennsylvania Department of Health Opioid Dashboard)
Harm Reduction and SSP Planning Manual and Resource Library (Oregon Health Authority)