[public-health] DRUG ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE: ADDICTION : LIBRARY: LIBRARIANS : UNITED STATES: CITIES: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: For These Philly Librarians, Drug Tourists and Overdose Drills are Part of the Job

 

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DRUG ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE: ADDICTION :

LIBRARY: LIBRARIANS :

UNITED STATES: CITIES: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA:

For These Philly Librarians,
Drug Tourists and Overdose Drills are Part of the Job

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For These Philly Librarians,
Drug Tourists and Overdose Drills are Part of the Job

Mike Newall

Updated: MAY 24, 2017  3:01 AM EDT

Philly.com

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/mike_newall/
opioid-crisis-Needle-Park-McPherson-narcan.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/kmfnwd2

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I visited the century-old library that sits atop Needle Park in Kensington because Id heard its staff was the first in the city to learn how to administer the lifesaving overdose antidote Narcan.

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They have been using the spray so often that they can tell the type of overdose simply by the sound coming from the lavatory: Heroin victims slide sluggishly into unconsciousness, the librarians have found, while victims of deadly fentanyl collapse instantly, with a thud that resonates through the entire building, which is called the McPherson Square Branch.

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Since the opioid crisis began surging throughout the country last summer, the library staff has noticed new settlers on their lawn: drug tourists, they call them. Young people traveling from across the country for Phillys pure heroin and the high said to be better than anywhere else.

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snip

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Overdose drills

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For nearly 30 years, Judi Moore has worked as branch manager and childrens librarian at McPherson, which serves the drug-ravaged neighborhood around Kensington and Indiana Avenues. Her desk offers a gunpoint vantage.

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Until last year, she recalls just one overdose in the library. Then heroin exploded. Since then, there have been four overdoses in her building. None has been fatal.

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There was the man who shot up in the adult reading room and slid to the floor. And the man who thudded to the bathroom tile and was blue and shaking and gasping for breath. There was that Saturday late last year when McPherson called 911 five times in one day.

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As the library overdoses mounted, the soft-spoken Moore, whom the kids call Miss Judi, took actions, small and large.

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First, she posted a bathroom monitor  and accompanying rules she hoped would pose obstacles to those whod use the bathroom to get high:

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Adults must leave a library card or ID at the front desk, the sign reads. And bathroom use is limited to three to five minutes. After that, a guard knocks.

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While other libraries practice fire drills, McPherson began overdose drills:

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Who stays with the victim? Who calls 911? Who ushers out the kids? Who waits for an ambulance?

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The steps helped, but then the tourists swarmed.

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White kids, mostly. And the addresses listed on the driver’s licenses offer evidence of the opioid crisis reach: Jersey. Delaware. Ohio. South Carolina. Alabama. Arkansas. Nevada.

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With its after-school lunches and arts and STEM programming, the library has long sought to be a safe learning space. McPherson  set to celebrate its 100th anniversary Saturday — has the highest programming-attendance rate of any city branch. And is also among the top for WiFi use. Kids come here to use computers they dont have at home.

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And the park had been getting nicer in recent years, with a new playground and lighting.

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But now, more than ever, children must watch their steps for needles.

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Teddy Hackett, a volunteer who scours the grass daily, says he collects double the needles he did only a few years ago.

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On Thursday, he collected 107, showing his bucket. He even finds them on the jungle gym.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[public-health] DRUG ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE: ADDICTION : LIBRARY: LIBRARIANS : UNITED STATES: CITIES: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: For These Philly Librarians, Drug Tourists and Overdose Drills are Part of the Job

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