Sandoval County hosts Fentanyl Awareness Week information sessions to combat the deadly fentanyl epidemic, collaborating with organizations and law enforcement.
The county will host three information sessions during Fentanyl Awareness Week on Tuesday, October 24, in the Commission Chambers at the County Administration Building, 1500 Idalia Rd., Bernalillo.
Sandoval County is joining Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the New Mexico Department of Health, local law enforcement, numerous health and addiction treatment organizations, and others to help educate and empower the public in the fight against fentanyl.
Sandoval County Manager, Wayne Johnson, said, “We are committed to informing our community about this deadly drug epidemic that has a strong presence in New Mexico. This lab produced opioid, described as 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, affects abusers, their families, friends, co-workers, and the general public. The more that we can share with our residents about this drug and the help available, the better we can work together to protect our community.”
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose. Without laboratory testing, there is no way to know how much fentanyl is concentrated in a pill or powder.
In August of 2022, the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office intercepted the shipment of 22,000 fentanyl pills and 4 pounds of meth. Around 8,000 fentanyl pills were ready to hit the streets in Sandoval County, officials said.
Last fall, several police departments and federal agencies were involved in a massive, $5 million drug bust in Albuquerque that included fentanyl and heroine. Source of the drugs reportedly was the Sinaloa Cartel.
According to the CDC, 107,622 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, with 66 percent of those deaths related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Fentanyl available in the United States is primarily supplied by two criminal drug networks, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
Fentanyl Awareness Week begins on Sunday, Oct. 22 with a movie screening of “All the World is Sleeping” at the Hiland Theater in Albuquerque followed by a community discussion. The free-of-charge information sessions begin the next day and run through Monday, Oct. 30 at four locations in Bernalillo County and Sandoval County.
To view the schedule and learn more about each session, visit www.keepNMalive.com/events. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/fentanyl-awareness-week-speaker-series-2677229.