Price of lifesaving drug naloxone skyrockets

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DENVER -- A new analysis finds drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans younger than 50 years old.

And as the nation's drug addiction problem gets worse, a last chance at life is becoming harder to find.

Naloxone is a lifesaving drug that can stop an overdose from taking a person's life, but the FOX31 Problem Solvers found a big price hike is making it hard for police and paramedics to purchase.

One manufacturer has raised the price from $575 to $4,100.

When it was first developed, it was meant for doctors to give to patients who could overdose from a "prescribed" opioid. It was not meant to be used by law enforcement or nonprofits.

In February, more than 30 senators sent a letter to naloxone manufacturers questioning the hike in price. There are critics to taking naloxone out on the streets.

They argue it perpetuates the use of opioids because people will have the sense they can always be pulled out of an overdose.

However, many law enforcement officials say the focus is always on saving lives.