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'I'm Pretty Sure I Died': Knoxville Man's Life Saved By Naloxone

More than 1,200 lives were saved in Knox County last year thanks to Naloxone, the drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

According to the Knox County Health Department, 60 percent of the people who received it were male.

Brian Crabtree is one person who was saved.

"I'm glad that there is something that's being used that's saving lives. I hate to think of the number of people who have still died or died before Narcan because every life that's saved is a chance for them to get well,” Crabtree said.

Crabtree's addiction had a strong hold on his life. He watched his kids get taken away, relationships fall apart and friends die from the opioid epidemic.

"It was to a point where I didn't want to live," Crabtree said.

On the night of Jan. 5, 2017, he took too much heroin.

"I'm pretty sure I died. From what I've been told, they had to Narcan me a few times," he said.

Crabtree said there's stigma surrounding Narcan. People think it's a crutch for addicts to continue using.

"I don't think anybody's life is less than anyone else. I think we deserve that second chance, third and fourth chance," he said.

According to data released by the Metro Drug Coalition only a small percent of people receiving Narcan have had it more than once.

"The rumor we always hear is we are saving these addicts so they can use again. Well, the facts are only seven percent have had to have an additional use. That we are saving lives and we are changing lives," Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said.

Crabtree credits Narcan for his life, his drive to find treatment and recover.

"Being that close to death was a wake up call. It made me realize that I didn't want to die," he said.

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