The company that owns Narcan, the life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of a drug overdose, has announced it will provide free kits to every public library and YMCA in the country.
Directors of both the Newton County Library and Joplin YMCA say the initiative of the company emergent biosolutions is a great way to stay on top of the opioid crisis, but they want to make sure their respective facilities are fully equipped to handle this type of an emergency.
“I think we need to be trained in what to look for, because we call the ambulance every once and a while for patrons here that have different medical issues, but to my knowledge it has never been a drug overdose, so I’m not sure if I know what I was seeing if I saw it,” says Carrie Cline, Newton Co. Library Director.
Emergent Biosolutions, the medical company that owns Narcan, says they will be giving every public library and YMCA in the country free kits of the medicine that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. While both directors of the Newton County Library and the Joplin Family Y say they think it’s a great idea — they both agree training is a must.
“And when you have a lot of part-time people they come and go, and so I think we definitely would need to have some ongoing training or something with the kits, so we would know what to lookout for,” says Carrie Cline.
“It would be helpful for the Y to be on the frontlines of that and to train our staff on recognizing the symptoms and with helping in the situation of an overdose,” says Kim Gray, Joplin YMCA COO.
Gray says it’s definitely important for the Y to stay on top of this, since the organization serves the three main groups with the highest risk of an overdose.
“That would be athletes recovering from sports injuries who may get hooked on painkillers, as well as seniors recovering from joint replacement surgery being prescribed and getting hooked on painkillers, and children who find those medications in their parents and their grandparents medicine cabinets and may experiment,” says Kim Gray.
This is all a part of the emergent biosolutions’ initiative to bring awareness of the opioid crisis in the nation, and to expand access to the life-saving drug.