Troopers call fentanyl major factor in growing opioid problems

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Alaska State Troopers spoke today on the growing concern over the opioid epidemic.
Captain Michael Duxbury says the black market synthetic opioid, fentanyl, is causing many deaths, and is "by far the biggest concern" in the opioid crisis.
The state's chief medical officer, Jay Butler, says there were at least two dozen deaths related to fentanyl in 2017.
That's a big increase from 2016, when five to six deaths were attributed to the drug.
Butler's statement comes before the finalization of the 2017 medical examiner statics.
Duxbury says the drugs are being brought into the state by gangs and Mexican drug cartels, as opposed to being manufactured here.
He also said that with the state budget cuts and trooper staff shortages, it will be challenging to combat this crisis.