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Rally aims to raise awareness of opiate overdoses

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Posted at 10:22 PM, Aug 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-05 23:31:02-04

A group of Utahns are rallying to put an end to opioid and prescription drug abuse in America. Monday was International Overdose Awareness Day.

Between 1999 - 2014, 220,000 Americans lost their lives to opiate overdoses. Utah has the fifth highest number of overdose deaths in the nation.

On Monday, the Utah chapter of Fed Up met at the Utah State Capitol to discuss the growing issue.

The group said the United States makes up only five percent of the world's population, but we consume 80 percent of all the hydrocodone and oxycodone produced world-wide.

"we have become a country of people who are addicted to pain medication, which is leading to heroin, and the numbers are alarming," said Sandra Kresser, Fed Up committee chairperson. "The CDC and the federal government is now calling this the biggest and worst drug epidemic in this nation's history."

Fed Up will hold its third annual rally in Washington D.C. on October 3.

They are asking that all states make Nalaxone, a potentially lifesaving medication that can bring people out of an opiate overdose, readily available to everyone.