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home : opinions : our views July 22, 2017

6/28/2017 1:36:00 PM
Our responsibility?
Brooke Bechen
Reporter/News and Features

While eating lunch at my desk last week, I browsed CNN to learn what was going on in the world. Amongst the Trump headlines I spotted something that sparked my interest. The title of the article?
The opioid epidemic is so bad
that librarians are learning how
to treat overdoses
The McPherson Square Library in Philadelphia, PA, where 33 year old librarian Chera Kowalski works, has become the site of numerous heroin overdoses. It's become so bad that she keeps a blue zipper pouch containing Narcan, the heroin antidote, tucked away in her desk for emergencies. A photograph with the article showed signs taped to the facility's restroom - "due to unacceptable behavior, restroom use is limited to three to five minutes." Another read, "you must leave ID or your library card at the front desk in order to use the restroom...we are trying to prevent drug use in our bathroom in order to protect our children."
I cringed upon seeing another photograph with the article that showed a young man who works at the library outside of the building picking up discarded used needles. The man details how many needles he finds each day on a calendar. The month of May set a record, the article continued - 1,197 needles.
Kowalski has saved six people since April of this year. "That's a lot for a librarian," library guard Sterling Davis commented.
And although Kowalski has a connection to heroin (her parents used, but have been clean for 20 years), I wondered why she felt it was her continuous responsibility to help overdosers.
Is it our individual responsibility to help strangers when we see an overdose happening before our eyes? Should we all be carrying around our own blue zipper pouch with Narcan?
Maybe I'll never feel comfortable jumping to an overdoser's aid, or administering an antidote not knowing if the person will learn from the experience or not. At this time, I still think that is the responsibility of emergency personnel.
Changing a mind set is hard - it takes time. I'm still working on changing mine.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, June 30, 2017
Article comment by: teresa perez

Start off by giving the parent info and telling them giving your children pain pills or antidepressents or any of your meds to your children is basicly saying well my mom takes and some times gives it to me so yea i can do this to and when whats happening is your getting your own kids addicted and bring there tolorence up and making them think there profesional experts on medication and letting them think they can diagnose and sell because they have been doing this since a kid. instead of telling them to go jump and play on afreeway and go have fun in a park and be a real girl instead of letting think there the adult and letting them run everything because your to busy making money and just to make it easior one you to get them to shut up you give them your pills cause it shuts you so why not it should shut them up, but little do you know you mite be shuting them up permittly in the near future and i would think that if parents knew that what is actualy in a pain pill was connected to the same as harion and it is the same catagory as opiodes i would think parents would think twice before they would even take a pain pill. stop it at the soures make them think before it to late

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