People are dying unnecessarily. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, there were 47,600 opiate-related deaths in the United States in 2017. This number has skyrocketed over 257 percent in 10 years. This is an epidemic.

The drug-related death tolls continue to climb, and they can be stopped. There is a way to save lives. There is a medicine that can be easily administered to a person who is overdosing that will reverse the killer effects of the narcotic.

Anyone can get this life-saving elixir. Narcan (naloxone) is a medication that reverses and blocks the effects of opiates. It is available in an easy-to-use nasal spray. This medication can be purchased at the pharmacy without a prescription. Free overdose kits containing naloxone are available at many nonprofit substance use treatment centers, health care clinics and often through county health departments. In some Utah counties, these kits are even available at libraries. Just ask the librarian.

Please help get the word out and save precious lives. Every home where a person is using opiates, an overdose kit should be also.

Holly Ancell, Provo