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Experts: drugs laced with fentanyl leading to more overdoses in Utah

Posted at 10:27 PM, Sep 01, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Illegal drugs laced with fentanyl are being sold on the streets of northern Utah.

Salt Lake City Fire posted the alert on social media, warning people that recent overdoses have been “requiring extremely high doses of reversal medication.”

“It’s a deadly, deadly dose. A really high dose of opiates,” said Crystal Yazzi, who works with an addiction outreach group called Alternative Roots. “It’s been an issue.”

One way Alternative Roots aims to assist those working through addiction is to provide the life-saving medicine Naloxone. They also educate people on how to administer the medication that can reverse the effects of an overdose.

Recently, Yazzi has noticed larger doses have been needed to work effectively.

“We have been having to do five to seven doses of it on a single overdose,” she said.

Yazzi, who once had a drug problem, has been clean for five years. She understands the gravity of this current issue.

“I have been in their shoes. I have been a hardcore drug user. I know my life was worth it,” Yazzi said. “My addiction started with opiates. That’s what encouraged me and inspired me to start something like this [Alternative Roots].”

Ali Astle joined Alternative Roots to make a difference.

“I have lost too many friends to drugs and addiction and I am doing what I can to make sure it doesn’t happen anymore,” Astle said. “It’s really scary that it’s in our community right now.”

Both women hope people hear the warnings, educate themselves about life-saving measures like Naloxone, and do their part to be proactive in solving this current problem that puts some of the area’s most vulnerable people at an even greater risk.

“It could happen to anyone,” Yazzi said.

Naloxone kits are available free of charge at county libraries and fire departments.

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