St. Louis County Library & St. Louis County Department of Health Team Up to Fight Opioid Overdoses
St. Louis County Library and St. Louis County Department of Public Health announced this morning that Narcan kits are currently available at 5 SLCL branches and will be expanded to all 20 library locations by the end of 2023.
A press conference was held on International Overdose Awareness Day, August 31, to announce the availability of the kits and the expansion. St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page gave remarks at the event, along with Dr. Kanika Cunningham, Director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and St. Louis County Library Director & CEO Kristen Sorth. The Lewis & Clark Branch is located at 9909 Lewis-Clark Blvd. in Moline Acres.
“We have too many people dying from this preventable chronic disease. One of the best tools we have in the fight against the opioid epidemic is Narcan, and this expanded partnership with the St. Louis County Library will bolster our efforts and help us save lives,” said County Executive Dr. Sam Page.
St. Louis County Library Director & CEO Kristen Sorth said, “Libraries have become the center of the communities we serve. Through partnerships such as this one with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, we are able to provide critical resources to individuals and families. Providing Narcan kits is an important addition to the other range of services we provide at several branches such as diapers, period supplies and social workers.”
“The St. Louis County Library has been a vital partner in our efforts to improve public health -- especially during the pandemic,” DPH Director Dr. Kanika Cunningham said. “It’s important for us all to remember that with Naloxone (Narcan), anyone can save a life – and every life is worth saving.”
SLCL began a pilot program in partnership with the County Health Department in July 2023, offering Narcan kits at 5 branches. The kits, which are used in the event of an opioid overdose, are currently available at Florissant Valley, Lewis & Clark, Natural Bridge, Rock Road and Weber Road.
Narcan distribution is increasingly made available in urban and suburban libraries throughout the country, and it has been proven to save lives. While Library employees will not administer the Narcan, social workers at the 5 branches mentioned above are trained and authorized to administer the drug in the event of an opioid overdose. Patrons may visit one of the five participating branches to request a kit with no questions asked.
SLCL and St. Louis County government have partnered together on several successful initiatives over the last few years, including digital equity for older adults and children, COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rental assistance and services for the justice involved.
Media inquiries about the Narcan partnership should be directed to Jennifer McBride, SLCL Communications Manager at 314-994-3300 ext 2250 or email@example.com.