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Taygan's Team aims to prevent drug overdose deaths

11:25 p.m. EDT August 31, 2015

"We knew that we had to reunite and do something to honor her, and try to help someone not go through the same emotions that we were going through by losing someone so close to us," she said.

The group of friends created "Taygan's Team" in her honor. Their mission is to spread drug overdose prevention and awareness.

Ruddy said Towe's death might have been prevented if the people she was with had called 911 soon enough for her to receive naloxone, a drug used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose.

Towe's mother, Donna, said there was no "gateway drug" for her Taygan, going straight to OxyContin and heroin in high school when a new boy at school offered them to her.

From there, she said they tried 10-12 different rehab facilities with no results. Towe said she wished she had known about the preventative options that could have kept her daughter alive.

"We didn't know about the Good Samaritan Law," she said. "We didn't know a thing about this new naloxone that can prevent overdose. And it's sad that we have to have things like that, but if it can save a life, I'm all for it."

At the "Taygan's Team" event at Fountain City Park on Monday, groups made naloxone kits to know what to do in an emergency and potentially save lives in the future.

"Our young people are dropping like flies," Towe said. "We need to get these drugs off the street first of all, but until that's done, we need to make them aware that there is help."

Also Monday night, members of the Kred lifestyle brand helped sponsor a candlelight vigil at World's Fair Park to draw attention to drug overdoses. Among the Kred members is Chad Gibson, a recovering heroin addict,

Tennessee Department of Health

***Tennessee counties with less than one dozen overdose deaths were not released by the Tennessee Department of Health in order to protect the identities of the victims.

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