SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Pills made to look like prescription painkillers are creating a deadly problem in Sacramento and Yolo counties.
The pills laced with fentanyl are believed to be behind 36 overdoses and nine deaths in just over a week in the two counties.
The number of overdoses is driving a push to make Naloxone—an antidote to opiate overdose—more readily available.
Over the last two years, Sacramento Harm Reduction Services has trained more than 600 people and saved 183 lives with it. Program leaders say if it’s more accessible, it could help put a stop to a deadly trend.
“You can put it in the arm, the leg or the butt. And you literally just go in 90 degrees and administer the Narcan,” said Liane Bruckstein.
She knows every second counts when it comes to administering Narcan, another name for Naloxone Hydrochloride.
“The Narcan can actually revive someone and start their breathing again,” she said.
But getting it can be tough. Sacramento houses the largest syringe exchange in Northern California.
The group gives anyone who completes training two free doses. They’re doses one man we spoke to says he had to use on a friend.
Kelly Sanchez has used it on others twice and keeps it in her home, just in case.
“I had it in my doorway and I grabbed it and put it in her arm and she was just like awake. She didn’t even know it,” she said.
Two years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law allowing Narcan to be sold over the counter, but Bruckstein says many local drug stores don’t carry it.