From Route 50:
At the heart of Denver’s Civic Center District, the Denver Central Library is an epicenter for knowledge, culture, and community connection. This iconic institution located in Downtown Denver is also undergoing symptoms of a nationwide public health crisis: the opioid epidemic.
This year, the library has experienced 14 overdoses and one death because of opioid-related misuse. Unfortunately, those numbers are projected to increase if action is not taken to address the opioid-use disorder shown to have concentrated in this location. In this current state, the library has increased its efforts by administering Narcan, hiring additional security, increasing police presence, and utilizing two full-time social workers and three part-time peer navigators to work directly with individuals experiencing life challenges.
Fellows of the Governmental Entrepreneurial Leadership Accelerator program, comprised of personnel from the City and County of Denver, State of Colorado, University of Colorado Law through Silicon Flatirons, were given the dynamic mission of how to eliminate opioid-related overdoses and deaths in the Denver Central Library and surrounding public facilities. Data trends analyzed demonstrated heroin-related substance abuse and associated crimes were analyzed.