ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Nearly one-million dollars will go toward efforts targeting fentanyl use in the Albuquerque-metro area over the next year. The Bernalillo County Commission voted Tuesday to spend $975,000 for a continued fentanyl prevention and education campaign, fighting what it calls a drug “epidemic” that’s “plaguing” the community.
The money is expected to go toward three initiatives. The first will be an eleven-month marketing campaign between February and December 2023, spreading the word about the dangers of fentanyl use. In a commercial that began airing late last year, the county emphasized how “a grain of salt” or as little as two milligrams can be a fatal dose for most people.
The money is also expected to pay for additional “community awareness training and presentations.” In October 2022, Bernalillo County partnered with City of Albuquerque to hold fentanyl summit, which can be watched in its entirety online.
Lastly, a portion of the $975,000 approved by commissioners will go toward upgrading the county’s fentanyl resource website, keepNMalive.com. The county say it will aim to make the website a “more comprehensive resource for those seeking education and treatment information on fentanyl.”
“This urgent work must continue,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner Barbara Baca. “BernCo has stepped up to fight this epidemic plaguing our community through stakeholder partnerships, a fentanyl summit, a marketing campaign focusing on the dangers of fentanyl, and outreach for those seeking assistance.”
Money for the project comes from the county’s $3.9-million in opioid settlement funds, following a lawsuit against pharmaceutical distributors. The county says money provided by the settlements “will provide substantial funds to states and local governments for abatement of the opioid epidemic across the country and imposes changes in the way the settling defendants conduct their business.”