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pain pills

Whittney Evans

A Justice Department program that tackles heroin, prescription drug abuse and violent crime is coming to Utah.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

This week several laws went into effect intended to address Utah’s addiction to pain pills and opioids. Lawmakers this year approved legislation that will allow for the creation of a needle exchange and for anyone to distribute a drug overdose antidote called Naloxone. KUER's Andrea Smardon talks with Sam Plumb, whose brother died of a heroin overdose. Plumb and his sister Jennifer together started an organization last year called Utah Naloxone at University of Utah Health Care.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Every month, 49 Utahns die from drug poisoning. But advocates are trying to prevent more deaths by distributing a medicine they believe can save lives.