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Bills to let librarians administer overdose medication move quickly in state House

Flickr User Jim Howe

State lawmakers want to give librarians immunity from any issues that could arise if they administer opioid overdose medication.

A state house committee passed the bills Tuesday.

The quiet, secluded nature of libraries makes them an attractive place for some drug users to get their fix.

Librarians can administer overdose medication like NARCAN. But some don’t carry it because they could be sued if something goes wrong.

Gail Madziar is the executive director of the Michigan Library Association. She says drug overdoses in libraries is a growing problem. She says a woman died of an overdose at the association’s president’s library.

“She was lying there with a needle in her arm and they did CPR, they did what they could but unfortunately the first responders did not get there in time.”

Republican Representative Jason Sheppard is a bill sponsor. He says because libraries are open to the public, but still a place where it’s easy to find privacy – people are increasingly taking drugs there.

“I felt like this is something that would be another tool in the toolbox for possibly saving someone’s life if they wander into a library and decide to do that.”


Similar bills were introduced last session, but it only made it out of one committee.The bills could be taken up in the full House later this week.