The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a proposal authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn which will stock LA County Libraries with naloxone, also known as Narcan, the life-saving antidote to fentanyl poisoning and opioid overdose. 

The County will also explore making LA County Libraries official distribution sites for naloxone kits for residents to pick up.

“Narcan is easy to use, anyone can carry it, and it saves lives,” Hahn said. “Fentanyl poisonings are on the rise, and we should make sure Narcan is at our County Libraries where so many young people spend time after school.  Parents are scared and want to know how they can get Narcan to keep in case of an emergency so I want to explore making our libraries Narcan kit distribution sites.”

Narcan is easy to use without medical training and won’t harm someone if that person is not suffering from fentanyl poisoning or opioid overdose. The CDC says it is always better to use it in the case of a suspected overdose.

Hahn’s motion, which passed Tuesday, does two things.  The first is that it immediately directs the Department of Public Health to assist the Los Angeles County Library with obtaining naloxone and maintaining the availability of naloxone on-site at County libraries to reverse opioid overdose as well as offer training to Los Angeles County Library staff volunteers on how to identify overdose and safely administer naloxone.  

Second, it directs the Department of Public Health, the Department of Health Services and the Los Angeles County Library to explore the feasibility of making libraries naloxone distribution sites. At a recent LA County Department of Public Health town hall on fentanyl, worried parents asked repeatedly about where they can get naloxone/Narcan to have in case their own child is a victim of fentanyl poisoning.

Should the plan to make libraries naloxone distribution sites move forward, naloxone could be obtained through the State of California’s Naloxone Distribution Project. 

The program was created to combat the growing number of opioid-related deaths by providing naloxone to certain organizations, including libraries.  Naloxone kits provided through these distribution sites are completely free to the public.

Our Weekly coverage of local news in Los Angeles County is supported by the Ethnic  Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support minority-owned-and-operated community newspapers across California.

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