Libraries and overdoses

Editorial

Tuesday, March 27 2018

It was good to see, within a week’s time, the Vancouver Public Library reversing it’s policy preventing staff from using the Naloxone training they had themselves acquired to help those who may have overdosed. It remains to be seen whether the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) does the same.

From the BC Government Overdose Awareness site: “Naloxone is a medication that can quickly reverse the effects of an overdose from opioids such as heroin, morphine, fentanyl, carfentanil, and codeine.”

Libraries are one of the last bastions of indoor space open to all members of the public. Opioid overdoses happen within all demographics. 

This isn’t to say that VIRL should make Naloxone training mandatory. But, much like CPR training, if someone has taken the time to get the proper training, and carries the right equipment, their employer should be at the very least allowing them to use that training while on the job.

Can anyone imagine having the training and then having to stand there and wait for someone who isn’t ‘on the clock’ to do something?

Even better, if there are staff willing to be that person in the workplace, the employer should be paying for their training, as well as time off required to get that training. 

WorksafeBC supports this. Employers should too.