by: Courtney Johns
Posted: / Updated:
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – 60 days ago Zach Kap decided he was ready to clean up his life, but before he made that decision, he had a rule.
“You can always do more, but you can’t do less,” said Kap.
Understanding the dangers of drugs laced with fentanyl Kap tested his drugs.
Odyssey House provides free fentanyl test kits in the hopes of preventing overdose deaths. The kits work by mixing a small amount of residue in water and stirring a test strip in the solution. If fentanyl is detected, one line will appear on the strip.
Harm reduction specialist Corey Orndorff said it doesn’t always stop people from using, but it can still save lives.
“Because she knew there was fentanyl present, she used less and she said it probably saved her and her son’s life,” said Orndorff.
The Odyssey House also provides Naloxone, also known as Narcan. It can either be injected or sprayed into the nose to revive someone who overdoses. Kap said he’s used Narcan to revive people on several occasions.
Narcan isn’t just for people struggling with addiction. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jay Tinkler said his team has it on hand when processing evidence. He said when fentanyl is in powder form, it can be incredibly dangerous.
“Once it gets in the air and you breathe it in, it’s so much more deadly,” said Tinkler.
Tinkler said he’s also seeing more pills get laced with a deadly amount of fentanyl.
“This time last year, we were seeing about 20% to 25% chance of a pill containing the lethal amount of fentanyl, we’re up at about 46% now,” said Tinkler.
It’s a risk Kap says he took a little more than 60 days ago when he didn’t test his drugs.
“The last thing I remember was sitting there and being like, ‘Well, I’d never done this before,’ and then it was just black,” said Kap.
Narcan saved Kap’s life.
“They gave me an injection and nasal once, and then when the ambulance got there, they did it five more times and luckily on the last one I came to,” said Kap.
Kap said if someone wants to use, they’re going to find a way, but these kits give people one more chance to turn their lives around.
“Just because somebody is not ready to get sober now, that doesn’t mean that 90 days, a year, or however long it takes, that eventually they’re not going to want to get sober,” said Kap.