Library workers join fight against opioid epidemic in New Orleans

Library workers join fight against opioid epidemic in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The City of New Orleans says opioid deaths in Louisiana are above the national average and now public library workers will join the growing list of those trained to administer naloxone.

That is the drug that reverses the effects of a heroin or opiate overdose.

"It's widespread and you don't have to look far to find someone whose life or loved one has been touched by the epidemic. What we are trying to get across is that addiction is a disease and we need to treat it like a disease," said New Orleans Health Department Director, Joseph Kanter, M.D.

Local first responders, like New Orleans police officers and firefighters, are also trained to use the drug.

City medical officials said learning to administer naloxone is something that is now basic first aid especially considering it's safe, has no side effects, and in Louisiana you do not need a prescription to buy it at the pharmacy.

The Executive Director of the New Orleans Public Library said they have not had any drug emergencies at libraries in New Orleans, instead, he says they are doing this training to be proactive.

The training is voluntary, but even so more than 50 staff members stepped up to say they wanted to learn how to save someone's life.

Those employees represent all 14 library branches in New Orleans.