Nearly every SSP will need to create official policies and procedures. These make up the building blocks of harm reduction program design and are the operational guidelines for an organization. The purpose of policies and procedures is to protect and steer stakeholders as they fulfill the mission of the organization. They are a reference tool for appropriate action, ethical decision making, and for dealing with potential or actual conflicts.
This section discusses the basic principles that harm reduction programs use to guide their decision making, and some general guidelines for broad categories of policies and procedures that harm reduction programs usually need to address. This section also addresses ethically challenging or difficult to navigate policies specific to harm reduction organizations such as participant use of bathrooms and dealing with law enforcement. Please note that this chapter does not include any discussion of employee policies or concerns, a subject large enough that it has its own section.
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.
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.