Underground operation aims to save lives

ST. LOUIS - He's a former prosecuting attorney and now, a recovering heroin addict, and now Chad Sabora is a man on a mission to save lives. But to do so, he's had to keep his operation underground because he says he's waiting for the law to catch up with him.

The effort involves a drug called Narcan. It acts as a sort of EpiPen for someone who has overdosed on heroin. Right now in Missouri, it's only approved for medical providers to administer it. But some say, that needs to change.

Sabora is one of them. It saved his life once, when he overdosed and his heart stopped.

"I want everyone to get the chance to get away like I did, and get the chance to live," said Sabora.

Sabora is now nearly three years clean. He runs and anti-drug advocacy group, and an underground operation distributing Narcan to addicts and their friends and families.

"Legislation usually takes years, and with the amount of people that are dying right now there was no choice as to whether or not to do this," said Sabora.

While other advocacy groups are pushing for more availability to Narcan, they are going about it in a different way.

"We always have to work within the framework of the law," said Dan Duncan, associate executive director of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

So, the NCADA is pushing Missouri lawmakers to pass a bill enabling police and other first responders to administer the drug.

"Somebody's life could be saved. And you would hope that if that happens, that person who has come so near death has a bit of an awakening and decide it's time to get help," said Duncan.

Chad says he supports the effort to push the bill through legislature. But until Narcan is readily available to the public he'll continue his work.

"We need to protect peopleā€¦ from themselves sometimes unfortunately," said Sabora.

Opponents of Narcan have said it could promote heavy drug abuse. But proponents say recent studies have disproved that theory.


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