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Naloxone efforts in Utah get national news attention

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Naloxone outreach is getting national news attention, as a television show featured Salt Lake City firefighters, and a family, saving lives with it.

Crews with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” watched Salt Lake City firefighters try to save a man’s life by spraying Naloxone up his nose. The program showed how it instantly reversed drug overdoses and saved lives.

Fire department medical chief Mike Fox admits Naloxone consumes quite a bit of his department’s budget.

“This is a disease, and it’s a difficult disease to kick,” he said. “So, if we have to save someone’s life three or four times, five times, it doesn’t matter to me.”

Dr. Jennifer Plumb with Utah Naloxone says people relapse with cancer, and drug relapse victims should get the same love and life-saving support.

The antidote saved the life of Ashlee Keetch. Before that, her mother, Anita, spent nights on Rio Grande’s streets with her homeless, addicted daughter.

“And so I said, ‘Can I come hang out with you?'” Anita Keetch recalled. “Gave her the choice, to, you know, does she want me to see her at her worst. So she said, ‘Yeah, you can come hang out.’ So I went, met her and her boyfriend. And within 30 seconds they were injecting right in front of me.”

Ashlee fell 50 pounds underweight. She has also saved others with Naloxone.