Harm Reduction Training Institute (HRTI)

HRTI trainings support staff working with people who use drugs to implement harm reduction principles and reduce stigma

HRTI logo

HRTI goals

  • Build agency and program capacity
  • Improve consumer engagement in service design and delivery
  • Enhance the citywide system of care prevention and education to meet the needs of people who use drugs and alcohol in San Francisco

Sign up for trainings

Check out our upcoming trainings and register at LearnSFDPH.org 

See list of HRTI trainings

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

CEUs are available from the Center for Learning and Innovation (CLI).

Current CEUs offerings: Certified Addiction Professionals (CCAPP), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEP), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC), and Registered Nurses (RN).

SFDPH Harm Reduction Policy/ Declaration of Compliance

All agencies/programs funded by DPH shall:

  1. Address in their program design and objectives how they will provide harm reduction treatment options.
  2. Develop harm reduction guidelines. This is according to the Resolution of the Health Commission in September of 2000.  Please see below for the resolution. 
  3. Describe where the agency/program will post the following schedule to ensure that they are available and accessible to all clients (updated schedule can be found here, please scroll down to Syringe Access & Disposal Schedule):
    • Up-to-date information about the location and schedule of syringe access and disposal services
    • Up-to-date referral information about naloxone access and the schedule of overdose prevention and naloxone distribution services
  4. Include an onsite overdose response policy that describes the steps the agency/program will take in the event that an individual overdoses on property managed by the agency/program or in the presence of agency/program staff.
  5. Ensure that all staff receive training in overdose prevention strategies.
  6. Ensure that all staff participate in at least one annual harm reduction training, provided or sponsored by the Harm Reduction Training Institute (HRTI) (the trainings are either in-person, virtual, self-paced, or recorded) as documented in program records.
  7. Provide low-threshold naloxone distribution to clients/participants. This includes establishing a process to train staff, track distribution and number of overdose reversals, and report overdose reversals to DPH point person.

SFDPH Harm Reduction Resolution


No. 10-00

Adopting a Harm Reduction Policy For Substance Use, STI and HIV

WHEREAS, the San Francisco Department of Public Health seeks to reduce adverse health effects to individuals, to individuals’ families and to the broader community through legal and compassionate interventions; and,

WHEREAS, the Harm Reduction model of health care offers multiple non-judgmental approaches to assist clients in their movement toward better health; and,

WHEREAS, the Harm Reduction model is client-centered and attempts to reach clients “where they are at”, to assist them in making choices that lead toward better health; and,

WHEREAS, deaths in the City and County of San Francisco due to injection drug overdoses reached 180 in 1999, the third leading cause of lost years of life; and,

WHEREAS, existing research indicates that 90% of injection drug users who have injected for more than two years are infected with Hepatitis C, and 16% are infected with HIV; and,

WHEREAS, soft tissue infection associated with injection drug use is the leading diagnosis for admission at San Francisco General Hospital’s Emergency Department, leading to 1,400 inpatient admissions in 1999 (costing $18 million), 70% of which were uninsured; and,

WHEREAS, needle exchange, a Harm Reduction program, has proven to decrease further HIV and Hepatitis C infections by providing clients with clean needles with which to inject; and,

WHEREAS, practicing safer sex reduces the likelihood of transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV; and,

WHEREAS, abstinence-based programs are successful for some individuals, but not all; and,

WHEREAS, recovery from substance use, practicing safer sex and improving health status often take place in an incremental manner; and,

WHEREAS, the serious consequences of substance use and unsafe sex cause significant health problems for the residents of San Francisco and some harm reduction practices have been shown to mitigate these health effects, now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED that all Department of Public Health providers, including DPH contractors, who deliver substance abuse, STD, and HIV treatment and prevention services, and/or who serve drug users and abusers in their programs shall: (1) address in their program design and objectives how they will provide harm reduction treatment options, and (2) develop harm reduction guidelines.

I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was adopted by the Health Commission at its meeting of September 5, 2000.

Sandy Ouye Mori, Executive Secretary to the Health Commission

Email your questions or comments to HRTI@sfdph.org. 

Last updated May 13, 2024