Federal legislation introduced in memory of Alaskan lost to fentanyl

“We just have to keep pushing the awareness,” Snodgrass said from the nation’s capital on Wednesday.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 8:10 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - An Alaskan mother is taking her fight against fentanyl to Washington D.C. this week as Sandy Snodgrass continues to advocate against the deadly drug that killed her son in October of 2021.

Snodgrass worked alongside Alaska’s congressional delegation to introduce new federal legislation named after her late son, Bruce Snodgrass.

“We just have to keep pushing the awareness,” Snodgrass said from the nation’s capital on Wednesday.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski shared Bruce’s story on the Senate floor and explained how the 22-year-old was working towards recovery before he died of an accidental fentanyl overdose.

This week, Murkowski introduced “Bruce’s Law” which is aimed at federal prevention and education around the drug. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California co-authored the bill with Murkowski.

“I would encourage every member of the Senate to sign onto this legislation,” Murkowski said. “We acknowledge in Alaska this is a problem in our state, and we have to acknowledge it in all of our 50 states.”

Federal legislation is something Snodgrass never envisioned after the heartache of her son’s death. Months after Bruce’s passing, she began to share his story, and the more people she told, the more compelled she felt act.

“If this is the reason that my son died, then that’s something, that’s something, and I hold on to that, and that helps me. Everyone grieves in their own way,” Snodgrass said. “It turns out through this advocacy is how I’m processing my grief, of my son, is to really hope that other people’s sons don’t die.”

During her time in Washington, Snodgrass is sharing her story at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Family Summit on the Overdose Epidemic.

In 2021, the DEA issued its first public safety alert in six years warning of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, and the drug administration said a lethal dose of the drug can fit on the tip of a pencil.

The DEA has also launched a “One Pill Can Kill Campaign” highlighting the fake pills that hide the fentanyl and said four out of every 10 pills seized contain a potentially deadly dose of the drug.

Seizures of the synthetic opioid have risen 380% from 2018 to 2021 in Alaska, according to DEA. So far in 2022, the DEA said they have already seized more fentanyl in Alaska than it did last year.

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