COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The lifesaving medication known as naloxone, will soon be placed in each of Columbus’ 23 library branches.
The medication is made possible because of a partnership between ADAMH and the Columbus Library, to tackle the growing opioid epidemic.
“This is an important thing that we can offer the community,” said Donna Zuiderweg, Chief Community Engagement Officer with the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
Zuiderweg said they were approached by the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County or ADAMH, to place Naloxboxes inside their libraries.
“ADAMH is purchasing 150 Naloxbox kits and has begun installing them within public spaces,” said Erika Clark Jones, Chief Executive Officer of ADAMH.
Jones said during the past year, overdose deaths increased in Franklin County by 47% which is more than 800 deaths. That’s why she’s passionate about bringing these kits to as many places as possible.
“We’re continuing to seek out community partners, that stand in the space, and serve in the space where they’re seeing this happen,” said Jones.
She’s getting this accomplished while receiving help from recovery specialists. She’s been in recovery herself for five years now and even credits Narcan for saving her life.
“I get to use the darkest days of my life, to help other people see the light again,” said Lauren Talbott, a peer recovery supporter with RREACT.
Talbott works for RREACT, a rapid response emergency addiction, and crisis team.
This is why she believes programs like this can save more lives.
“That’s so important to me to be a part of a team that sees the importance of Narcan, and of getting people into treatment rapidly,” said Talbott.
The naloxone kits are currently available at 12 library locations including the main branch, and there are plans to install them at the remaining 11 locations in the coming months.