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This father lost his daughter to fentanyl. He’s praising the approval for over-the-counter Narcan.

The South Sacramento father is applauding the FDA's approval for the overdose-reversing drug

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A South Sacramento father who lost his daughter to fentanyl poisoning is applauding the FDA for approving the overdose-reversing drug, Narcan.

On Wednesday, he shared his fight against drugs and is letting parents know this could happen to anyone.

"Fentanyl is really poisoning our community and our households. It has altered my life and altered my kid's life. My family, we're deeply affected from the loss of my daughter," said Owen Newman, the father of 20-year-old Talaia Newman.

Back in November, Newman lost his only daughter. It's a crisis many families face.

"Overdoses and poisonings, specifically with fentanyl and other adulterated medication, it's impacting families kind of all over in our county, across lots of different demographics, socioeconomic lines," said Rob Oldham, the Director of Health and Human Services for Placer County. 

This Wednesday the FDA approved the first over-the-counter Narcan Nasal Spray to reverse overdoses.

"Patients will no longer have to go to a pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to get this medication. They can see it over the counter and just like you're grabbing Benadryl or something for your stomach. You can easily grab a Narcan if you see it in the aisle," said Sonya Frausto, owner and pharmacist at Ten Acres Pharmacy off Freeport Boulevard in Sacramento. 

Frausto says it means easier access.

"That's the hope... it'll help to further reduce the stigma and increase the access further to Narcan," said Oldham. 

Newman says it's a good start, but he'd like to see bigger efforts in distribution.

"It has to be more on the ground. We have to bring it to our neighbors. We have to bring it to the people that are not going to go in there and purchase it. As far as people that are in the tents. The homeless population," said Newman.

There are also those who wonder if this will also enable drug users, but Ten Acres Pharmacy says the reality is those same concerns surround a lot of things over the counter. Frausto said Plan B also stirred concerns.

"But what we've seen is easy access to this allows community members who purchase them to make good decisions for themselves," said Frausto. 

As a father, Newman says parents also need to break barriers with their children and communicate.

"Please don't be naïve. Like we say, we all know our child, but our child grows up even though we grow along and we get to see. But there are a lot of things we don't know about our child," said Newman. 

Ten Acres Pharmacy says they're still waiting to hear how much the over-the-counter Narcan will cost, but they're expecting something around $35 to $65.


San Joaquin County distributing free Narcan kits to stop overdoses

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