DOI: 10.2105/ajph.2024.307583 ISSN: 0090-0036

Funding and Delivery of Syringe Services Programs in the United States, 2022

Shelley N. Facente, Jamie L. Humphrey, Christopher Akiba, Sheila V. Patel, Lynn D. Wenger, Hansel Tookes, Ricky N. Bluthenthal, Paul LaKosky, Stephanie Prohaska, Terry Morris, Alex H. Kral, Barrot H. Lambdin
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Objectives. To describe the current financial health of syringe services programs (SSPs) in the United States and to assess the predictors of SSP budget levels and associations with delivery of public health interventions.

Methods. We surveyed all known SSPs operating in the United States from February to June 2022 (n = 456), of which 68% responded (n = 311). We used general estimating equations to assess factors influencing SSP budget size and estimated the effects of budget size on multiple measures of SSP services.

Results. The median SSP annual budget was $100 000 (interquartile range = $20 159‒$290 000). SSPs operating in urban counties and counties with higher levels of opioid overdose mortality had significantly higher budget levels, while SSPs located in counties with higher levels of Republican voting in 2020 had significantly lower budget levels. SSP budget levels were significantly and positively associated with syringe and naloxone distribution coverage.

Conclusions. Current SSP funding levels do not meet minimum benchmarks. Increased funding would help SSPs meet community health needs.

Public Health Implications. Federal, state, and local initiatives should prioritize sustained SSP funding to optimize their potential in addressing multiple public health crises. ( Am J Public Health. 2024;114(4):435–443. )

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