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November 14, 2017

Public Safety Agencies Encourage Residents to Learn About Naloxone

Christina Judd - Email

SALT LAKE COUNTY—Officials from Salt Lake City Police Department, Salt Lake City Fire Department, and Salt Lake County Health Department have joined forces to encourage residents to learn about naloxone rescue kits and, in some cases, carry a kit and know how to use it.

Naloxone rescue kits, when administered in time, can reverse an opioid overdose and save an opioid user’s life. Naloxone may be administered via nasal spray (commonly known as Narcan) or through injection.

“Unfortunately, many people in our community have the potential to witness an opioid overdose,” said Gary Edwards, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department. “The loved ones of people who use opioids, or people who work with populations who use opioids, should be prepared to administer this life-saving drug.”

In 2016, the Utah State Legislature passed House Bill 240: Opiate Overdose Response Act, which allowed Utahns to access naloxone without a prescription.

“It is noble to save someone’s life,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown. “Carrying a naloxone kit is legal in Utah, and people can administer it in good faith to someone in need without fear of any legal repercussions.”

Opioid overdose kills because it causes breathing to slow or stop. The subsequent lack of oxygen leads to cardiac arrest and eventually brain damage. Signs of an opioid overdose include:
  • Unconsciousness/unresponsiveness
  • Very slow or gurgling breathing—and ultimately no breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils that do not get bigger when the eyelid is opened
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Slow heartbeat: less than 50 beats per minute
“Opioid overdose can occur in people using prescription drugs or illegal drugs,” said Salt Lake City Fire Chief Karl Lieb. “It doesn’t matter what type of opiate or opioid; they all present an overdose risk, and access to naloxone could be the difference between life and death for those struggling with opioid use.”

If you need a naloxone kit, call the Salt Lake City Fire Department at 801-799-4111. For more information about Utah’s opioid epidemic or naloxone, including other places to get a kit and how to properly administer it, visit  or