The Kern County Library and Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services with Drug Free Kern are providing free kits with the life saving drug Naloxone for anyone who requests it in hopes to combat the opioid crisis. Each package in Kern comes with two doses and a quick tutorial on how to administer it by trained library staff.
All 22 Kern County public libraries are scheduled to have the free Naloxone, or Narcan. The nasal spray can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid, heroin, or fentanyl overdose. Narcan is safe to use on all ages, even babies according to library staff, and is not supposed to have long lasting side effects.
By October 19th Jazmyn Hewett picked up the last box at Beale Memorial Library. Hewett reported that the librarian assisting her told her that there were currently no plans to stop the campaign despite dwindling supplies.
Hewett is a Bakersfield native who graduated from Bakersfield High in 2016 and now works as a security guard for the city and privately owned businesses. Hewett also started a new job as a basketball coach for Liberty High’s boys team. For her, free Narcan is a big deal for the community.
Hewett explains how fast, easy, and informational the experience was. She continued to say that the required form to fill out is short and mostly anonymous.
Due to Hewett’s work in the community she sees how individuals on the streets can easily be overlooked during a fatal overdose. Hewett found an unconscious individual slumped over during a routine check of a property. She said that emergency responders were able to revive the man. The unhoused individual admitted to using opioids among other illegal substances.
During the exchange for your free Narcan you will be shown ways to approach potential victims. This campiagn’s hope is to empower the community to be informed and prepared. Unfortunately, Rafael Noreno, branch liaison, shared that Beale Memorial Library only started their distribution with 40 packages, and by three days most branches ran out of stock.
“We feel that the library is one of the pillars to the community. [Passing out Narcan] is just another way of staying connected with the community, knowing the importance of what’s going on,” Noreno continues, “we’re very excited that [Narcan] is here…fentanyl being the current crisis that we’re going through, we figured being involved and distributing narcan is a great way to continue helping the community” aside from creating a safe space to enjoy books.
Go to Kerncountylibrary.org for more information and library hours:
Baker Branch Library, Monday -Tuesday 11am- 6pm
Beale Memorial Library, Monday -Friday 11am- 6pm
Holloway-Gonzales Branch Library, Thursday -Friday 11am- 6pm
Northeast Branch Library, Wednesday -Friday 11am -6pm
Rathburn Branch Library, Monday -Wednesday 11am -6pm
Southwest Branch Library, Monday -Thursday 11am -6pm
Wilson Branch Library, Tuesday – Thursday 11am- 6pm
Arvin Branch Library, Monday -Wednesday 11am -6pm
Boron Branch Library, Friday 11am -6pm
Buttonwillow Branch Library, Thursday -Friday 11am -6pm
California City Branch Library, Wednesday -Thursday 11am-6pm
Delano Branch Library, Wednesday -Friday 11am -6pm
Frazier Park Branch Library, Tuesday -Thursday 11am -6pm
Kern River Valley Branch Library, Wednesday -Friday 11am -6pm
Lamont Branch Library, Thursday -Friday 11am -6pm
McFarland Branch Library, Monday – Friday 11am -6pm
Mojave Branch Library, Monday -Tuesday 11am -6pm
Ridgecrest Branch Library, Monday -Thursday 11am -6pm
Rosamond Branch Library, Monday -Wednesday 11am -6pm