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Fentanyl Epidemic Frontline Fighter Speaks at Press Conference

A potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.
A potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.

Today, New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich Hosted a virtual press conference addressing the fentanyl crisis. He Introduces one of the speakers.

“It's my honor to introduce Desiree Bustos, A lead certified peer support worker and harm reduction specialist at El Centro Health in Espanola. She also works at Espanola Valley High [School] as a youth peer specialist.”

Bustos Has encountered personal loss associated with Fentynal and is in long term recovery.

She is thankful for the recent progress with addressing this epidemic.

“Thank you senator and also to our wonderful community that has been able to jump in that frontline and do that hard work. Even though we were from a small community, a rural town where everyone knows each other here, the fentanyl severely impacted our community. I want to highlight some of the good things that we have been doing. Individuals in our city and our county are now trained to administer NARCAN and are pushing the harm reduction. To make sure that people are ready and they know what to do in case this happens.”

Bustos describes a barrier preventing proper care for struggling individuals.

“Were still faced with the barrier of medication shortages. Right now i'm looking at my schedule with over 10 people that are unable to get their medications. That leads to relapse, that leads to overdose. That is where we need help, we need to hold the pharmacies accountable.”

Bustos says we have to do what we’re able to, to be the change.

“If you have the ability to help and make change, we have to be that change.”

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.