Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Police organizations weigh in on fentanyl issue

“The drug has been involved in everything from officer involved shootings all the way down through traffic violations and traffic accidents,” said APD Chief Harold Medina. “The biggest group of individuals that are being affected that we’re seeing arrested are 18-25 year olds.”

APD stats from January to Nov. 2021 show 241 Fentanyl-related offenses in Albuquerque.

Police took almost 12,000 doses off the street.

Stakeholders made those points about the drug last year, but today—they stood still.

The co-founder of “Street Safe New Mexico,” Cindy Jaramillo, says the easy access to fentanyl is shocking.

“I pull up to a gas station, I get asked if I want blues or if I have any blue,” said Jaramillo. “I show up to a motel to deal with one of our clients and everybody’s bombarding me- do you have blues , do you need blues. It’s just so out there.”

Jaramillo dealt with her own addiction back in the late 90s, when she said drugs were harder to find, and more expensive.

“These days you go with $5 and get a fentanyl pill and it gets you high for a while,” she said. “$5 compared to anywhere from $25 to $50.”

Jaramillo believes we need more education, especially for kids, because of what we know this and other drugs can do.

“I’ve seen a lot more violence with the fentanyl pills than when heroin and crack was the drug of choice out there,” said Jaramillo. “Since its become pretty much meth and fentanyl pills the crime rate has just sky rocketed.”

A US News and World report last year showed federal agents determined fentanyl was the top drug driving crime in New Mexico. Local leaders say some of the supply is coming from Northern Mexico.

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