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Former Utes football coach Ron McBride takes on the opioid crisis

"We're losing the game": Coach Mac's foundation putting money into education

HOLLADAY (News4Utah) - Ron McBride walked the sidelines at Rice-Eccles Stadium for 13 years as Head Coach of the Utah football team but now he's taking on his toughest opponent ever: Utah's opioid crisis.

"Right now we're losing the game," McBride told News4Utah following a news conference Wednesday at Holladay City Hall. "You're going into the 3rd quarter and you're down 17 points and you've got to find a way to make it up to win the battle."

Coach McBride has seen former players get addicted to pain pills and turn to illegal drugs. Derek Johnson suffered a knee injury while playing for Weber State and wound up addicted to heroin.

"There was a point in time when I lived on the streets," Johnson said. "Just kind of ran around and did some of those things and lived out of my car and I was just using drugs."

Derek survived but many others like Jason and Tiffany James' son Colten have not. He succumbed to an overdose on February 24th.

"He died fighting in and out of rehabs that failed him," Tiffany James said. "It's the most unbearable pain to live with every day and to do CPR on your child while their beautiful brown eyes are just drifting away it's something no family should ever have to deal with. "

The Ron McBride Foundation is working with researchers, school districts and law enforcement to educate kids about the dangers of opioid use. Later this month they're sending six local educators to Boston for a conference on how to do that.

"We've got to have a way to attack this situation to save our kids," McBride said, adding that the time for talk is over and it is now time for solutions.

For more information on the Ron McBride Foundation go to https://theronmcbridefoundation.org/

For information on the Love You Man Golf Tournament on June 22nd, go to https://theronmcbridefoundation.org/2018-love-you-man-tournament/

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