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Peninsula father on mission to distribute Narcan after losing son in overdose

Peninsula father on mission to distribute Narcan after losing son
Peninsula father on mission to distribute Narcan after losing son 03:37

BRISBANE - While the Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to distribute the overdose reversal drug naloxone or Narcan over the counter, a Peninsula father who lost his son to fentanyl is doing what he can now to save lives.

Jesse, a father from Brisbane, is taking the fight against the opioid crisis into his own hands.

"We have to do something. We're under attack," Jesse said.

KPIX found him handing out boxes of Narcan to his neighbors, in the hopes of preventing families from having to go through what his family went through four years ago.

"My son Gabriel died at the age of 18. He took a pill he thought was Xanax. It had Fentanyl in it, and he dropped dead," Jesse recalled. "Even if it breaks my heart, I have to tell this story."

Earlier this week, federal officials paved the way for Narcan to be available in more places, not just in pharmacies, but in grocery and convenience stores and even vending machines. The over-the-counter spray likely won't be ready until late summer.

Even though the federal government is taking steps to make Narcan more accessible, Jesse says more of it needs to be out in the community, now.

"I think it's something that everybody should have in their medicine kit," he said. "There's no shame in having it in your medicine cabinet. If you have Vicodin in your medicine cabinet, you better have one of these."

Jesse got in touch with a non-profit organization called "Song for Charlie," and told them he wanted to give Narcan out to the people in his community. Shortly thereafter, he received a shipment of nearly 50 units of Narcan to distribute.

"You can save the life of a loved one now if you have this," he said. "I'm on the side of angels. I don't talk about that stuff too much, but this is a righteous fight - and I'm willing to do what I can."  

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