New article on Syringe Service Programs from the International Journal of Drug Policy
A new article, titled Syringe services programs: An examination of legal, policy, and funding
barriers in the midst of the evolving opioid crisis in the U.S., is available from the Journal of Drug Policy. This article, on Syringe Services Programs (SSPs), delves into the legal, policy and funding barriers.
Please find the abstract below:
" Background: Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) have been proposed as a key intervention to address increasing
rates of opioid injection, overdose, and infectious disease transmission in the U.S. In recent years, multiple states
and jurisdictions have enacted laws and policies to enable implementation of SSPs. These statutory and regulatory
changes have resulted in the expansion of SSPs in a short period of time under a patchwork of different
regulations and policies. Understanding how SSPs are responding to this evolving policy environment in the
midst of a worsening opioid crisis can inform the development of strategies to maximize the role SSPs play in the
response to the opioid crisis.
Methods: In-depth, semi-structured and audio-recorded interviews were conducted with 25 individuals running
23 SSPs in the U.S. A thematic content analysis was employed to identify and group themes across the domains of
interest based on inductive and deductive coding of verbatim interview transcripts.
Results: Despite progress in expanding the number of SSPs in recent years, programs described encountering
legal, policy, funding, and community barriers that are limiting the scope, scale, and reach of SSPs. To address
these barriers, programs are employing multiple strategies to educate about and advocate for SSPs, engage
policymakers and communities, combat pervasive stigma, strengthen funding, and reach at-risk populations.
Conclusion: This qualitative study of a geographically diverse sample of SSPs provides key insights into the legal
and policy barriers, funding challenges, and contextual factors impacting SSPs and the strategies programs are
pursuing to counter these barriers. Coupling these strategies with policy changes that address the underlying
legal and financial barriers and advancing efforts to combat stigma around drug use and addiction stand to
substantially expand the role of SSPs as part of the public health response to the opioid crisis in the U.S."
Jones, C. M. (2019). Syringe services programs: An examination of legal, policy, and funding barriers in the midst of the evolving opioid crisis in the US. International Journal of Drug Policy, 70, 22-32.