Libraries and the Substance Abuse Crisis: Supporting Your Community

ALA. May 2020. 128p. ISBN 9780838947395. pap. $39.99. PRO MEDIA
With the explosion of opioid addiction, worsening economic conditions, and increasing homelessness, all of which exacerbate and highlight mental health issues, libraries are being forced to take on new roles, including overdose intervention and treatment. Grove, a psychology major who worked for social service agencies before finding a second career as a librarian, provides a primer on the causes and signs of addiction (to opioids and other drugs) and discusses the different groups (such as children and parents of addicts) that may also be affected. She stresses that libraries should be welcoming spaces for those struggling with addiction and explains how to create such an atmosphere, including guidelines for staff training, creating policies and services, and ensuring safety and security. She also makes suggestions for outreach and marketing.
VERDICT A slim volume packed with practical information on recognizing those dealing with substance abuse issues, planning services for them and their families, and safeguarding spaces and training staff for emergencies.
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