Fentanyl overdose in Alaska reaches critical point

In October 2021, Bruce Snodgrass died of a fentanyl overdose. He was 22 years old.

“He loved Alaska,” said Bruce’s mother, Sandy. “He should be in the Alaskan wilderness. There he was safe. He wasn’t safe in the city.”

The number of fatal fentanyl overdoses in Alaska has increased since 2018. The biggest increase was last year, when there were 253 overdose deaths – over 100 more than the year before.

“There are people who are actively looking for fentanyl,” said Michael Troster of the Alaska High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. “But many of the overdoses can be attributed to people believing they have a substance (Adderall) and it is contaminated with fentanyl.”

One gram of fentanyl could kill 500 people. In the first three months of this year, law enforcement seized over 1,200 grams. That’s more than double last year’s amount. Retired DEA agent Derek Maltz says many of these are from Mexico.

The fentanyl crisis has reached Alaska, over 3,000 miles from the southern border.
Fentanyl overdoses in Alaska have been on the rise since 2018.
Tulare County Sheriff’s Office

“The cartels have a pipeline up the west coast through California to Washington state,” Maltz said. “And of course to Alaska. So we see a growing addiction.”

Since Bruce’s death, Sandy has been pushing for a law in his name. The goal is to launch a campaign to warn the public about the dangers of fentanyl.

“Bruce’s Law will provide federal awareness and prevention efforts specifically related to the fentanyl crisis in the United States,” Snodgrass said.

One gram of fentanyl could kill 500 people.
One gram of fentanyl could kill 500 people.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

https://nypost.com/2022/08/19/alaska-fentanyl-overdoses-reach-crisis-point/ Fentanyl overdose in Alaska reaches critical point

JACLYN DIAZ

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