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Overdose reversal drug could become available at Triad libraries, YMCAs

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Public libraries and YMCA facilities in the Triad could soon decide to have naloxone on hand in case of an emergency.

Emergent BioSolutions announced this week that they would make a free kit with two doses of naloxone nasal spray available to libraries and YMCAs across the country.

Greensboro Public Library Facilities Manager Jim Young said Thursday that he's looking into the program, but more research is needed first.

"Any time you're administering something to the public, you want to make sure you’re doing it safe. So I think the education part is crucial to make sure it’s something we’re really on top of,” Young said.

He added that as a public safety concern, staff members would want to be able to respond.

"A lot of our staff here are very compassionate. They want to help people, that’s what we’re here for. So this would just be part of that,” Young said.

Greg Jones, the president and CEO of YMCA of Greensboro, issued the following statement following the announcement:

"We are currently reviewing the opportunity with our internal management team to have Narcan doses available at all of our locations. We appreciate the ongoing conversation around opioid addiction and strive to continue serving our local communities as a trusted resource."

Colin Miller is a harm reduction consultant the the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. He said providing the free naloxone is a step in the right direction.

“I think that it’s positive that it’s sort of out there in the popular culture and people are willing to more than likely give it a chance in some more public settings,” Miller said. "My concern with it is that it won’t get it as widely disseminated or distributed as possible.”

He said he hopes the announcement continues conversations and helps fight stigma against carrying naloxone.

“I hope in the near future this sets in motion having some of those tough discussions that we really need to have about substance use in general,” Miller said.

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