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Iowa fights against opioid crisis

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 18:26:54-04

The opioid crisis is impacting lives across the nation.

"They are so powerful and so difficult to get off of that I think the amount of treatment necessary, the amount of support is going to be a lifetime event," said Bob Sheehan.

To slow down the death toll from opioid addiction, on June 29th Iowa will make Narcan available free to the public at more than 350 pharmacies across the state.

"It's a great thing and I am so encouraged that the health department is moving in this direction," said Sheehan.

When used correctly, the nasal spray slows down the life threatening effects caused by the opioid. 

Effects Tim Manz has witnessed first hand when a friend nearly overdosed.

"He was literally on the couch, vomiting and having trouble breathing," said Tim Manz.

Manz says that experience wasn't enough to shake his friends addiction.

"It took over his life and that's  all he lived for," said Manz.

He believes if Narcan  was available for his friend he might still be here today.

"Maybe something like that would trigger a light off in their head," said Manz.

Bob sheehan with New Vision Homeless Services says quick access to the nasal spray could be beneficial to those staying in the shelter.

"Anything we can do to protect a death is excellent," said Sheehan.

Iowa Department of Public Health purchased 2,000 two pack Narcan kits using federal grant funding to hand out for free. 

The regular cost for that same kit is around $150.00.