REDDING, Calif. - The Shasta County undersheriff is helping to fight the opioid epidemic.
Undersheriff Eric Magrini said he is a part of the group NoRXAbuse.
NoRXabuse is a coalition of doctors and pharmacists who meet monthly to combat this opioid epidemic through education.
"I'm on the steering committee of NoRXAbuse and I'm the only law enforcement component," he explained.
"It's impacted the whole entire county. Hospitalizations are up. At one point they were 300 percent," Magrini said. "Our coroner's office were seeing an uptick in opioid-related overdoses and deaths."
Being the only law enforcement officer in this group he brings to the table the effects opioids have on the sheriff's office.
"It's horrible. The Center for Disease Control has identified it as the number one epidemic," he said. "It's interwoven with our crime trends and has a big impact on Shasta County."
Through a partnership with NoRXAbuse, a grant paid for the Sheriff's Office to put Narcan kits in each patrol vehicle.
He said Narcan reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
"It's just a little cardboard box. It had a nasal application inside of it. You just open the box take it out. It has a thumb depressor and a nasal spray, similar to what see for allergery or antihistamine, put in the nostril and spray," Magrini explained.
Magrini said people in the NoRXAbuse group have already saved two lives using Narcan.
He's making it his mission to get more law enforcement agencies on board with carrying Narcan. So they have the ability to save more lives.
"If I had a loved one that was suffering from addiction and they should be ever so unfortunate to possibly experience an overdose, I would want someone on the street equipped and trained to be able to save that person's life," he said.
He mentioned Narcan has no negative side effects if the overdose is miss diagnosed.
"It's a positive thing and for that, I'm passionate about it," Magrini said.
Magrini added he has not been faced with having to use the Narcan kit, but said it is an option available to save a life.