There are a number of articles on the efficacy of peer health educators here, here, and here. The UN has used peer networks to reduce drug use effectively, as outlined here. In addition to these papers and tools, support for peer to peer positive health outcomes are being studied around the world for a variety of health issues from drug use to diabetes; information from many of these studies can be found in the incredible treasure trove at the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health Peers for Progress project who have published a number of important studies and toolkits.
In addition, the Open Society Foundation has published Harm Reduction at Work which tackles many of the issues involved in hiring people who use drugs. The National Harm Reduction Coalition has a toolkit for Peer Delivered SSP and SAMHSA, in addition to many other useful free publications, has a guide for peers in recovery.
In addition to these resources it is important to find user/peer run organizations like the Urban Survivors Union, San Francisco Drug User’s Union, and the Sex Workers Outreach Project.
For general information on being an employer you might also check out the SBA’s website here.
If you need help with training, NHRC can help, as can NASTAD. As can a variety of harm reduction consultants like Balanced Imperfection and Partners in the Work
If you need materials for trainings the CDC has many links to accredited training centers.
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.