Books, Programming, Resources: Helping Patrons Through the Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis which has crashed through American communities has brought patrons to public libraries seeking information about opioids and addiction. This collection of resources can help you connect patrons to the information that they need to support themselves or a loved one. Library staff are also encouraged to review these eight research-based case studies of public libraries and their local, community partners who are responding to the opioid crisis together.
You can copy the information on this page to repurpose for your library's website or resource list.
Resource guides - some libraries have responded by creating online guides to help patrons seeking information:
- Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (NY): Addiction Recovery Resources
- Seattle Public Library (WA): Opioid Epidemic, topic guide
- Harford County Public Library: Addiction Resources
- Randolph County Library (NC): The Opioid Epidemic in Randolph County
Programming - hosting public forums, discussions or training is another way that libraries are supporting the community around the opioid addiction. Examples range from events that are planned and hosted by a library, to those which depend on library space to house the event.
- Reading Public Library to Present Opioid Crisis Event (PA)
- Community Naloxone Training, Bangor Public Library (ME)
- Opioid Crisis Series, St. Joe County Public Library (IN)
- Community Opioid Information and Narcan Training, Westerlo Public Library (NY)
- Meet the Author: Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MD)
Books - consider adding these items to your collection, which include both fiction and non-fiction titles:
- Greek, Joe. Coping with Opioid Abuse. New York: Rosen YA, 2018.
- Krosoczka, Jarrett. Hey, Kiddo. New York: Scholastic US, 2019.
- McGinnis, Mindy. Heroine. New York, NY: Katherine Tegan Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2019.
- Nelson, Blake. Recovery Road. NewYork: Scholastic, 2015.
- Sinel, Natasha. The Fix. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated, 2018.
- Various. Opioids and Opiates: the Silent Epidemic. Broomall, PA : Mason Crest, 2018
- Hampton, Ryan. American Fix - Inside the Opioid Epidemic and How to End It. St Martin's Press, 2018.
- Hari, Joann. Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. London: Bloomsbury Circus, 2015.
- Lembke, Anna and Callie Beaulieu. Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016.
- Macy, Beth. Dopesick: Dealers, doctors and the drug company that addicted America. Little, Brown, NY, 2018
- Mate, Gabriel. In the realm of hungry ghosts: Close encounters with addiction. Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2020.
- Quinones, Sam. Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press, 2015.
- Temple, John. American pain: how a young felon and his ring of doctors unleased America’s deadliest drug epidemic. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press, 2015.
- Wachs, Stephanie Wittels. Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss. Sourcebooks, Inc., 2019.
- Walker, Nico. Cherry. New York. N.Y.: Vintage Books, 2019.
Handouts and flyers - these printable handouts and resources for patrons can be shared by or in the library:
- Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Opioid Abuse and Addiction – Medline Plus
- DrugPubs – National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Rx Awareness - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Also check with your local and state health departments to discover what resources they may be able to share. Most of these resources were shared by members in the Facebook group, Libraries and the Opioid Crisis.
This page was originally published in January 2020, and was updated in June 2023.