Utah addiction treatment center helps prevent fentanyl overdoses

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – 60 days ago Zach Kap decided he was ready to clean up his life, but before he made that decision he had a rule.

“You can always do more, but you can’t do less,” Kap said.

Understanding the dangers of drugs containing fentanyl, Kap tested his drugs.

Odyssey House is providing free fentanyl test kits in hopes of preventing overdose deaths. The kits work by mixing a small amount of residue in water and swirling a test strip in the solution. If fentanyl is detected, a line will appear on the test strip.

Harm reduction specialist Corey Orndorff said it doesn’t always stop people from using, but it can save lives nonetheless.

“Because she knew there was fentanyl present, she used less of it and said it probably saved her and her son’s life,” Orndorff said.

Maison Odyssey also supplies Naloxone, also known as Narcan. It can be injected or sprayed into the nose to revive someone who is overdosing. Kap said he used Narcan to revive people on several occasions.

Narcan is not just for people with addiction. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Deputy Special Agent Jay Tinkler said his team had it on hand when processing evidence. He said when fentanyl is in powder form it can be incredibly dangerous.

“Once it’s in the air and you breathe it in, it’s so much more deadly,” Tinkler said.

Tinkler said he is also seeing more and more pills containing a lethal amount of fentanyl.

“Around this time last year, we were seeing about a 20 to 25 percent chance that a pill containing the lethal amount of fentanyl, we’ve increased by about 46 percent now,” Tinkler said.

It’s a risk Kap says he took just over 60 days ago when he didn’t test his meds.

“The last thing I remember was sitting there and saying to myself, ‘Well, I’ve never done that before,’ and then it was just black, ‘Kap said.

Narcan saved Kap’s life.

“They gave me an injection and a nasal injection, then when the ambulance arrived they did it five more times and luckily the last time I came,” Kap said.

Kap said if anyone wants to use, they’ll find a way, but these kits give people one more chance to change their lives.

“Just because someone isn’t ready to get sober now, doesn’t mean that 90 days, a year, or as long as it takes, that they’ll end up not wanting to get. sober, ”Kap said.

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