Calgary

Calgary Public Library branches in city core stocked with naloxone

Several branches of the Calgary Public Library are now equipped with naloxone in case a patron has an opioid overdose.

Opioid antidote has been used fewer than half a dozen times

Harm reduction worker Chelsea Burnham says libraries are often a hub for vulnerable populations and that having Naloxone easily available can save a life while paramedics are on their way. (CBC)

Several branches of the Calgary Public Library are now equipped with naloxone in case a patron has an opioid overdose.

The life-saving opioid antidote has been available at four inner-city locations since February.

Sarah Meilleur, a director of service delivery at the Calgary Public Library, says it doesn't mean they are condoning the use of drugs at their facilities.

"If you are caught using drugs, if you are caught under the influence, you're not allowed back in because we want it to be a welcoming and safe space for everyone," she said.

The opioid antidote naloxone has been available at four Calgary Public Library locations since February. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

"But the consequence of some of those overdoses can be severe, which is why we've equipped our security guards with this additional response tool."

Guards are trained

Guards at the Central, Memorial Park, Nicholls Family and Louise Riley branches are trained to deliver naloxone.

The library says it's been used fewer than half a dozen times.

Harm reduction worker Chelsea Burnham says libraries are often a hub for vulnerable populations and that having the antidote easily available can save a life while paramedics are on their way.

"There's just not enough time to call and organize all that, sometimes in a panic. I feel like it's so important to have naloxone kits," said Burnham, who is the chairperson of AAWEAR (Alberta Addicts Who Educate And Advocate Responsibly).

"I'm excited that the libraries are having it and it's available. I have a little bit of a resentment because it should have happened long ago."

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