The FDA approves lifesaving overdose device

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A drug that can quickly save someone, who has overdosed, from death has been approved by the FDA. The auto-injector device is called Evzio, which injects the right dose of an antidote for opioid overdoses and can save thousands of lives.

"I had smoked so much crack that I just lost control of my body and I knew something was wrong," said Barbara Stafford.

For 30 years of her life she battled drug addiction. Stafford says she's tried just about everything from cocaine powder, crack, prescription drugs and also snorted and smoked heroin. Stafford's darkest moment she says was in the 80s when she overdosed, but lived to warn others.

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"It was a long and hard struggle," said Stafford.

It's been 11 years now since she's been clean. Stafford volunteers at local substance abuse programs working with people addicted to heroin.

"It's a horrible drug," said Stafford. "I have seen people after they've used it for so long with the feeling that there's bugs underneath their skin."

A report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed 62 people across the state died from heroin in 2011. In 2012, that number spiked 89 percent.

Naloxone or Norcan has been used for years in ambulances or emergency rooms. But with the rise in drug overdose deaths there has been a growing push to equip more people with the protection.

"So many more lives could have been saved," said Stafford. "This should have been done years ago."

In Jacksonville one group, participants in One Spark has created Dragonfly Revival, an opioid overdose prevention project. They hope to create a program that can help to educate the public and provide narcan kits to those who need them.

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"The Narcan is a wonderful and well awaited medication," said Stafford. "It can save so many lives."

Several states have approved measures to increase the availability of Narcan.

New York and New Jersey are giving antidote kits to emergency and police officials. St Johns, Clay County and Duval County Sheriff's Departments currently are not considering equipping their officers with the emergency kits.


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