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Denver to ship fentanyl testing strips and Narcan for free to anyone in the city

As drug overdoses continue to rise, more people will have access to the drug that reverses opioid overdoses.

DENVER — Death is a familiar word for Lisa Raville. 

"It's so griefy," said the Raville about the work she does as executive director at the Harm Reduction Action Center. "We call the coroner's office all the time. We have besties at the coroner's office." 

Raville works with people who use drugs, usually injecting and smoking fentanyl. 

In the 12 months leading up to September 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated 104,288 people died from a drug overdose death. 

In Colorado, data showed 1,825 people died from a drug overdose in that same time period.

"We’re in the worst overdose crisis we’ve ever been in and we need all hands on deck," Raville said. 

Now, she is celebrating the City of Denver. Using this order form, anyone who lives in Denver can now order fentanyl testing strips and Narcan, the drug that reverses opioid overdoses. 

“Today is an extra special big day because the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment will ship these babies right to your home," Raville said. "If you walk on Earth and especially walk around in Denver, I need you carrying naloxone." 

People in Denver just have to watch a five-minute video before placing their free order. Raville said there is a need for everyone to help bring hope. 

"What we’ve seen is it used to be cops coming up on people overdosing, now it’s 17-year-old baristas who are being re-triggered everyday because they don’t want to clean the bathroom before they go home because they’ve come up on someone overdosing," Raville said. 

Narcan, the brand name of naloxone, won't hurt someone who doesn't have opioids in their system. 

Raville said more drug users would be alive if supervised injection sites were allowed in Colorado, but until then, she'll celebrate more people getting access to this antidote to death. 

RELATED: NYC approves drug use safe sites to lessen overdoses

“Welcome to the movement, babes," Raville said. "If they won’t give me my overdose prevention site, I need to make sure that everybody on Earth is carrying Narcan because we want to push forward with a healthier and safer community today." 

RELATED: School districts receiving free shipments of Naloxone through state health department program

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