Lifesaving Medicines Available at Branches of the Arlington Public Library – Official Site of the Arlington County Government in Virginia


Published on June 09, 2022



The newest addition to Arlington’s libraries isn’t a book, it’s the overdose reversal drug Naloxone. Also known as NARCAN, this drug can reverse an overdose of opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin, and/or fentanyl, safely and effectively.

Starting this month, NARCAN Nasal Spray was added to opioid overdose emergency boxes at all seven branches of the Arlington Public Library as part of the addiction recovery initiative. of Arlington. The boxes are located in public access points near the automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in most branches; at Aurora Hills and Glencarlyn, the boxes are in prominent locations where employees can easily access them. The emergency boxes contain instructions in English and Spanish.

“Bringing NARCAN into Arlington libraries means vital resources are more readily available in the event of an overdose,” said Deborah Warren, executive director of the Arlington County Community Services Board and deputy director of the Department of Social Services. . “We have seen the benefits of having AEDs and first aid kits in our public spaces. This adds an important, potentially life-saving tool to those same spaces.

Since January 2020, there have been 206 opioid overdoses in Arlington, including 60 fatalities. Arlington has had 20 fatal overdoses in 2020, another 28 in 2021, and there were 12 in 2022 as of June 3 (see Opioid Incident Data: Police Investigated Incidents Involving Opioids).

Knowing the signs of a drug overdose is an important step in administering lifesaving medications. Look for these symptoms in someone who is potentially experiencing a life-threatening event:

  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Blue or gray skin, fingertips or lips
  • Deep gurgling or snoring (also known as death rattle)
  • Sleeping and can’t be woken up
  • Unresponsive to stimuli (such as pinching of the earlobe or rubbing of the sternum)

About the Arlington Substance Abuse Recovery Initiative

The county launched its Arlington Addiction Recovery Initiative (AARI) in 2017 in response to growing concerns about opioid abuse in the community. The primary goals of AARI are to prevent individuals from developing substance use disorder, increase access and awareness of available treatment resources in the community, and reduce access to opioids. by diversion.

Other AARI efforts involve promoting linkages to care; facilitate the co-location of services as part of a comprehensive and integrated approach; reduce the stigma associated with substance use and concurrent disorders; and promoting a philosophy of hope and healing.

About Naloxone/NARCAN

Naloxone/NARCAN is available over the counter without a prescription. If you or a loved one have an addiction or have been prescribed strong opioid pain relievers, you should have Naloxone/NARCAN on hand. Arlington Addiction Recovery Initiative offers free harm reduction tools by mail. Make your request by email or by filling out this form.

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