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Utah Leaders Hope To Take Opioid Solution Statewide

Photo of NarcX containers.
Jon Reed
/
KUER
Six NarcX drop-off locations have been set up in Riverton, while individual bottles are available at the Riverton Hospital.

Utah leaders met at the Capitol Wednesday to discuss what they say could be a major breakthrough in opioid addiction prevention. 

They say the solution is a simple one. It was first launched last month in Riverton, when the city partnered with a Utah-based company to install six public drop-off locations. The containers are filled with NarcX, a liquid solution that can instantly, safely and irreversibly dissolve opioids and other drugs. 

“This honestly could be that landmark moment that we’ve been waiting for in the opioid fight,” said Republican State Representative Eric Hutchings of Kearns, who has opened a bill file that he said would help communities across the state install drop-off locations. 

Opioids are powerful and highly-addictive pain medications that have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths since their introduction in the late 90s. State health officials said Utah sees five deaths a week from opioid overdoses. According to Department of Health statistics, about 80% of heroin addictions begin with legally prescribed opioids, which have often been overprescribed and end up stored in medicine cabinets.

That’s why Hutchings is so enthusiastic about NarcX, which he says is a cheap solution to reducing the abundance of opioid supply, particularly in rural Utah, which often doesn’t have the same access to medical care as urban communities. 

“We could have [drop-offs] at a Trax station,” He said. “We could have them at a baseball stadium. We could have them at a city park. And once a pill goes into it, you can’t get it out.” 

Hutchings said with his bill, he and other state leaders hope to install more NarcX drop-off locations across Utah in the coming months.

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