by Mike Neppl, NYLA Director of Government Relations & Advocacy
Opioid Overdoes Prevention in the Library
The opioid abuse epidemic has reached into the heart of every community in our state, so it comes as no surprise that libraries and library staff are reporting increased incidents of opioid use, abuse, and even overdose in our community and neighborhood libraries. NYLA responded to our members’ reports by drafting legislation to address incidences of opioid overdose in libraries. This legislation, S.7860/A.10364, will permit public libraries and their staff the option to receive training and administer antidotes, such as Narcan, when individuals suffer from opioid overdose in the library.
Despite our state’s best efforts to address the ongoing opioid abuse epidemic, there have been several recent incidents where public library staff encountered individuals suffering an opioid overdose. Currently, their only recourse is to call 911 and wait for help to arrive. State law recently permitted certain educational institutions to opt-in to state-offered training programs to identify instances of opioid overdose, and administer antidotes such as Narcan. Unfortunately, this law did not extend to public libraries. Many libraries maintain automatic external defibrillators under state law.
It is important to note that is legislation will not require participation by any library or library staff member. It is a strictly opt-in, and does expand the liability protections afforded to libraries that do opt to participate.
Every message counts, please help spread the word and share this call to action. Together we can get this legislation passed!