MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 News) — While we hear about so much tragedies behind the opioid crisis. There are stories of triumph. One tool that can give you a second chance at life is Naloxone. ABC4 continues our series in part 4 with our partners with Intermountain Healthcare.
Naloxone or Narcan saves lives instantly. It comes in an injection or a nasal spray. It’s the life-saving drug that reverses an overdose. Health experts are convinced everyone needs to have one.
“It’s darkest before the dawn,” said Deven Mauss.
His darkest hour was this past summer for Mauss, 26, when his wife died of an overdose.
“When I found out I did a big shot of heroin and tried to kill myself,” said Mauss.
His friends found him slumped in the bathroom.
“They brought me back. I was pissed. I was pissed that they brought me back. I was angry because they saved me when I wanted to die. I didn’t want to feel the pain,” said Mauss.
Mauss is alive today because in his drug bag he carried Naloxone.
“They hit me in the chest. They thought it was like Pulp Fiction or something. I wouldn’t be here without it,” said Mauss.
In the last 3 years since Utah Naloxone’s inception, there have been more than 2,500 reversals by non-medical people. That’s 2,500 people who would not be alive. That’s only the people who report these reversals.
The organization distributes thousands of the life-saving drug every year. They’re given out to first responders, at needle exchanges and even at libraries.
Intermountain Healthcare would like everyone to have Naloxone on hand.
“It’s great to have in your first aid kit. You could be walking down the street and save someone who may need one,” said Lisa Nichols, Community Health Executive Director at Intermountain Healthcare.
That has actually happened to Mauss a handful of times.
“I’ve saved countless friends at least 4 friends from Naloxone,” said Mauss.
For the past five years, Mauss has walked the razor-thin edge between life and death, even carrying that heavy load on his shoulders. The drugs that kill next to the ones that saves lives.
Mauss wants to end that double life and has completed one month in a six-month program at the Odyssey House in Salt Lake City. He’s been sober 100 days and hasn’t looked back.
“It took her to die for me to pull me out of the clouds,” said Mauss.
His number one motivation is to be in his 8-year-old son’s life, a son who now doesn’t have a mom.
In Utah, a law passed a couple of years ago called “standing order” allows pharmacists to provide Naloxone without a prescription.
To get a Naloxone rescue kit: (385) 495-9050 or http://www.utahnaloxone.org/.
For help: https://www.odysseyhouse.org/