New Orleans Launches Naloxone Training


NOLA Officials Train Local Librarians To Save Lives

As deaths from overdose surpass deaths by homicide, officials in New Orleans have launched extensive training to equip librarians with life-saving Naloxone.

More than 50 volunteers from all 14 branches of the New Orleans Public Library are taking the training. During the sessions they learn to recognize an opiate overdose and then how to treat it using Naloxone, an over-the-counter nasal spray used to block the effects of opioids, especially an overdose.

“You literally take off three colored pieces, screw something on, screw the other part on and you’re ready to go,” says Naloxone training participant Marta Siuba.

The director of the New Orleans Health Department calls it a “miracle drug.” He says it’s both safe and effective — and may one day become synonymous with learning CPR.

Like the rest of the nation, New Orleans has been reeling from a surge of drug overdoses. There were 166 opioid deaths in New Orleans last year. For the first time in the city’s history, drug deaths surpassed homicides in 2016.

Included in the 166 opiate deaths were more than three times the number of cases involving fentanyl, a powerful and often deadly synthetic opioid.

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