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Denver sees sharp uptick in overdose deaths, forcing civilians to function as first responders

America’s drug epidemic is forcing some bystanders to step into the unusual role of first responder as overdoses continue to climb in cities like Denver, Colorado.

A recent report from The Denver Post offered one example, describing an incident involving a Colorado man who overdosed in a Denver park, the culprit evident by syringes lying beside him. Z Williams, a passerby, noticed the man and administered naloxone – better known as Narcan, which helps reverse the effects of opioid overdoses – but the man was pronounced dead at the scene nonetheless.

The stories are becoming commonplace, warranting installations of naloxone dispensers in major U.S. cities like New York City and pushing pharmacies to offer the antidote over the counter.

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FOX News’ Melissa Rudy contributed to this report.

Taylor Penley is an associate editor with Fox News.

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