Boxes containing overdose reversal medication to be installed at local libraries

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Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML), along with the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH) and other local agencies, announced a partnership that will supply the lifesaving overdose reversal medication naloxone at key locations throughout central Ohio – including all 23 CML locations serving Franklin County.

This partnership comes in response to increasing overdoses in Franklin County: overdose deaths climbed 47 percent in 2020 to more than 800 deaths. With $242,442 of State Opioid Response Funds made available through the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS), ADAMH is purchasing 150 NaloxBox kits and installing them in public spaces in ZIP codes experiencing higher numbers of overdoses.

“Many individuals in recovery from addiction are here today because they had another chance. Recovery is only possible if someone is still alive to take that step,” said ADAMH CEO Erika Clark Jones. “Columbus Metropolitan Library and other community partners are helping ADAMH save lives with this commitment to ensure naloxone is easily available in public spaces.”

“Right now, our communities are grappling with not one, but two deadly health crises,” said Columbus Metropolitan Library Chief Community Engagement Officer Donna Zuiderweg. “As a public library with 23 locations throughout Franklin County, we’re uniquely positioned to respond – and act – in the event of an overdose. We’re proud to be a partner.”

The first 50 NaloxBox kits are being installed in locations at CML, Columbus Recreation and Parks community centers and St. Stephen’s Community House. The kits are currently available at 12 CML locations – with plans to install them at the remaining 11 locations in the coming weeks and months. They will be available at the community centers by the end of December. Additionally, ADAMH is working with community partners to install an additional 100 NaloxBox kits in ZIP codes with high incidents of overdoses in the first quarter of 2022.

To oversee the NaloxBoxes, ADAMH has identified two providers – Southeast Healthcare and CompDrug – to install them, train staff on their use and maintain the supplies within them. Southeast Healthcare will serve in this capacity as it pertains to CML’s NaloxBoxes.

Each NaloxBox contains:
•One clear UV-stabilized box
•Two doses of naloxone (nasal spray)
•An English/Spanish instructional guide
•A QR code linking to a page on the ADAMH website that includes a naloxone administration instructional video and resources for someone looking to start recovery
•One rescue breathing barrier device
•Ties to close and open the NaloxBox

Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose and is easy to administer. Naloxone only works on overdoses caused by opioids. This family of drugs includes prescription painkillers like OxyContin, fentanyl, methadone and Vicodin, as well as illicit drugs like heroin. Naloxone will not reverse an overdose resulting from non-opioid drugs, like cocaine, benzodiazepines (“benzos”) or alcohol. A victim of a non-opioid overdose, or an overdose caused by a mixture of drugs, will not be harmed by naloxone.

The Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County offers life-changing possibilities to individuals and families living with mental health or addiction issues. ADAMH, a levy-funded county agency, partners with more than 30 non-profit agencies located in neighborhoods throughout the county to provide accessible and affordable behavioral health services.

To learn more about ADAMH, visit adamhfranklin.org.

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