SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Librarians in Salt Lake County have been trained to administer naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Salt Lake County Library Services and the county Health Department teamed up distribute Naloxne kits to library branches and to train librarians to administer NARCAN, which is a form of naloxone delivered via nasal spray.
“Like everyone in the community, individuals working in the library have the potential to witness an opioid overdose,” said Tayler Nelson, a prescription drug overdose prevention specialist. “The health department believes it the responsible thing to do to distribute the Naloxone kits and to provide training on how to administer this life-saving drug.”
The health department also provided library managers with a training video on drug overdoses. A press release from the two organizations states that drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50. Utah has consistently ranked among the top 10 in the nation for rates of opioid abuse.
“Training county library staff to respond to an opioid overdose and to help them save lives is the right thing to do,” Library Director Jim Cooper said. “We are a neighbor in most communities and neighbors look out for each other.”
The announcement in Salt Lake County comes as more libraries across the nation are taking similar steps to prevent fatal overdoses.