Fentanyl crisis hits Alaska: ‘We’re seeing growing addiction’


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Anchorage, AK – In October, 2021, Bruce Snodgrass died after a fentanyl overdose. He was 22 years old.   

“He loved Alaska,” said Bruce’s mother, Sandy. “He was meant to be in the Alaskan wilderness. He was safe there. He wasn’t safe in the city.” 

The number of deadly fentanyl overdoses in Alaska has been increasing since 2018. The biggest spike came last year, when there were 253 overdose deaths. Over 100 more than the year before. 

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“There are people who actively seek out fentanyl,” said Michael Troster with the Alaska High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. “But a lot of the overdoses can be attributed to people thinking they have one substance (Adderall) and it’s contaminated with fentanyl.”  

The fentanyl crisis has made its way to Alaska, over 3,000 miles from the southern border
(Fox News)

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 what they seized all of last year. Retired DEA Agent Derek Maltz says a lot of it’s coming from Mexico. 

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“The cartels have a pipeline up the West Coast, through California, into Washington State,” Maltz said. “And obviously into Alaska. So, we’re seeing growing addiction.” 

Fentanyl overdoses have increased every year in Alaska since 2018

Fentanyl overdoses have increased every year in Alaska since 2018
(Fox News)

Since Bruce’s death, Sandy has been pushing for a law in his name. It’s aimed at creating a campaign to warn the public about the dangers of fentanyl

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Law enforcement seized over 1,200 grams of fentanyl the first three months of this year

Law enforcement seized over 1,200 grams of fentanyl the first three months of this year
(Fox News)

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“Bruce’s law will provide federal level awareness and prevention measures specifically surrounding the fentanyl crisis in the United States,” Snodgrass said.

 



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