Have you seen the ads for Naloxone popping up all over billboards along the Wasatch range? Utah Naloxone is an organization that seeks to prevent deaths from overdoses by making a powerful first aid resource available to everyone.
Utah Overdoses By The Numbers
Between 2012 and 2014, Utah had the fourth highest fatality rate from drug overdoses. Utah has the highest rate of death in veterans from opioid abuse. Every week, 6 people in Utah die from opioid use. Overdoses are the leading cause of injury death in Utah–even more common than vehicle accidents.
In an attempt to change this shocking statistic, Utah passed two laws in 2014. One to allow layperson access to life-saving Naloxone, and another called the Good Samaritan law, which offers immunity from certain drug charges to people who call for aid. That way, that they can get the medical and professional help they need without the fear of legal reprisal getting in the way.
What is Naloxone and How Does It Work?
Naloxone is a first response system that counters the symptoms of opioid overdoses. While it doesn’t heal, it will keep someone breathing until help arrives. It’s essential to still call for professional help, because opioids will continue to have an effect and slow down the body’s systems to a dangerous level, even though Naloxone’s effects wear off between 30 and 90 minutes.
Naloxone only counters symptoms of overdose from opioids. That includes heroine and many prescription painkiller drugs, like oxycodone, morphine, and demerol. It doesn’t work against other overdoses, like cocaine, methamphetamines, alcohol, or benzodiazepines. Naloxone has been used for years. It’s a very safe drug, and now they’re making it available for laypeople in order to reduce the fatality rates from overdose.
According to Utah Naloxone’s website, “From 1996-2014, these programs reported providing naloxone to 152,283 persons resulting in 26,463 overdose reversals and lives saved.”
For those who worry that making this counteragent more popular and available will make people more blase about the dangers of opioid addiction and overdose, studies are showing the opposite. More people are reaching out for help and recovery. We believe that one of the reasons for this is that it provides a definitive way that we can help people we love who are struggling with addiction. Enabling loved ones to reach out to those who are struggling is always a good way to open conversation, let people who struggle know that they are loved, and encourage them to take the step to recover.
What’s the Deal with Naxolone Kits?
Since these laws were passed, organizations are trying to let people know the value in having Naxolone on hand, especially if you or someone you love struggles with opioid addiction. These kits are available without a prescription, and are available to everyone. Laypeople administering the drug are protected from civil and criminal liability for administering naloxone when they see a need for it. To learn more, check out Utah Naxolone’s website.
Real Stories of Recovery
I have been called to serve a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the Fort Collins, CO mission. I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices and love of everyone at The Ranch. I attribute my recovery to God, hard work, and the things I learned while I was there. I am so excited to go serve my Heavenly Father, it has been a long hard road to get here but I know it is what he wants me to do. My heart is full of gratitude and love for those who have cared for me... Thank you for all you have done for me...
Renaissance Ranch gave me a gift that no amount of money can ever repay. Through their unique, caring approach I learned how much I was loved, and that I never had to feel alone every again.
My sobriety date is July 15 2008. And for that I am very grateful. The ranch has given Me the tools to live a life I never thought was possible. I have never forgotten the feelings I felt when I was there in treatment and that's what gets me through the day, is the feelings and brotherhood that I was so blessed with while I was in the ranch.
As soon as I walked through the doors of the Ranch I felt hope. My life had spiraled into depths of shame, misery, guilt, depression, sadness, and suffocating darkness prior to reaching those front doors. The 2 months that followed would forever change my life and provide a foundation within that is unshakable.
I had a head full of gospel knowledge and a heart full of shame. I felt like a failure. I hated who I was. That all changed during my stay at Renaissance Ranch. I quickly realized that I wasn't alone and that there were others who felt the same feelings of self-hatred, failure, and shame. This realization, coupled with the nonjudgmental environment of the Ranch, I was able to be completely honest and open for the first time in my life. From the guidance and empathy of my counselors and brothers, I learned it was okay to feel and I started to believe that there was hope.
Renaissance Ranch will always be a special place to me and will always have a special place in my heart. I had already attended one rehab facility. The Ranch truly saved my life by teaching me and allowing me to understand and love who I am.