Mother Jones

A SHOT IN THE DARK

A rock-and-roll survivor is giving away a drug that can save opioid users’ lives—but only if they get it before it’s too late.
Negron describes herself as a “former injection drug user cleverly disguised as a nice grandma.”

FORTY YEARS AGO, when Julia Negron was married to a rock star and addicted to heroin, ODs were so common in her household that she kept a paramedic on call. When someone nodded out, he would dispense emergency injections of naloxone, a drug with a reputation for bringing seemingly lifeless bodies back from the dead. Today, the back of Negron’s black suv is loaded with the drug as she pulls into a Sarasota, Florida, parking lot and pops the trunk. A trickle of people approach to grab doses of the drug, which may one day revive a friend, a spouse, or a child.

Naloxone, which has been around since 1971, reverses the effects of overdoses from opioids like heroin, OxyContin, and fentanyl. It has saved countless thousands of lives. Between 1996 and 2014, more than 26,000 potentially fatal

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