Leadership Hacks for Harm Reductionists

Roadblock Tips:
Better Boundaries

Many harm reduction leaders talked about the need to have healthy boundaries around their work life and the things they will and will not take on. Many spoke to the fact that boundaries did not come naturally to them but that learning them had been critical to doing their best work. Some tips for developing better boundaries include:

  • Learn to recognize your own needs and listen to your intuition.
  • Know your values and what integrity looks like to you.
  • Recognize that knowing and communicating your boundaries shows respect for self and others.
  • Let your values and intuition help you define your boundaries.
  • Set consequences for folks who transgress your boundaries.
  • Communicate your boundaries.
  • Stay the course and be consistent.
  • Recognize that other folks’ crises and issues are not yours and let them go.
  • When possible, find a professional (coach or therapist) to work with to help you develop better boundaries.

More Resources

Don’t reinvent the wheel
During our development Harm Reduction Hacks have collected together a large number of resources from around the web you can find these in our resource folder in Google Docs. We are also always looking for more so help us by suggesting any resources we may have missed.
Suggest a Resource

External Resources

Collected from around the web
There are a number of external resources that contributed to the development of Harm Reduction Hacks. Here are a selection relating to this section:


The hacks on this site are shared with you under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence. This allows you (with attribution) to adapt content for your own use, although we do ask you to then also allow others to have equal access to anything you develop. More details of this licence can be found on the Creative Commons website.


We do not claim that this is an exhaustive set of strategies, shortcuts, or tips for running an SSP. What we do suggest is that Harm Reduction Hacks offers down-to-earth, practical information for being a better leader, starting and running an SSP, and providing syringe access services. We feel we can say this with confidence because the Hacks are based on interviews with, and the experiences of, literally generations of people who have been doing harm reduction work.

Please note that nothing in this guide should be construed as legal advice. Please consult an attorney local to your area to ensure your program is in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations that apply to your situation. 

Harm Reduction Hacks site design and implimentation by Nigel Brunsdon

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