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Sun May 21, 2017, 12:14 PM

For these Philly librarians, drug tourists and overdose drills are part of the job

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

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.

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 Philly’s pure heroin and the high said to be better than anywhere else.

<snip>

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

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

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.


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

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Reply For these Philly librarians, drug tourists and overdose drills are part of the job (Original post)
modrepub May 2017 OP
Freedomofspeech May 2017 #1
BigmanPigman May 2017 #2
murielm99 May 2017 #3

Response to modrepub (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 12:43 PM

1. When I was a high school librarian...

I sat for hrs. with a student who was high on crack...we librarians do it all and see it all. Of course 45 wanted to cut funding to public libraries.

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Response to Freedomofspeech (Reply #1)

Sun May 21, 2017, 05:52 PM

2. He doesn't read nor does he care about public health so why fund libraries or help addicts?

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Response to Freedomofspeech (Reply #1)

Sun May 21, 2017, 07:54 PM

3. Even in small towns like mine,

the homeless congregate in the library. We are on the front lines with this.

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