Bruce’s Law would help combat fentanyl epidemic

Narcan nasal spray and fentanyl test strips. (June 23, 2021) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Legislation introduced in Congress on Wednesday, June 8, would boost federal prevention and educational efforts on the dangers of drugs laced with the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which has caused many deaths nationwide.

Sponsors include Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, with Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, and Maggie Hassan D-NH.

Bruce’s Law is named for a young Alaskan, Robert “Bruce” Snodgrass, who died of a fentanyl overdose in 2021. The legislation authorizes new Community-Based Coalition Enhancement grants to help educate youths about the risks of street drugs laced with fentanyl, and allow Drug-Free Communities Coalitions to access new funds focused on fentanyl to try to curb its use.

“We cannot stand idly by and allow the fentanyl epidemic to wreak havoc on individuals, families, and communities across our state,”Murkowski said. “The passing of Bruce Snodgrass was heartbreaking and all too familiar. I continue to read headline after headline in our local press – and directly from Alaskans who are impacted – about the fentanyl crisis intensifying. We also know that we’re not alone, that this is a national crisis, and that we need to do more. We have an opportunity to help change that through this legislation. I thank advocates like Sandy Snodgrass and all of the individuals who helped us craft this bill, and urge my colleagues to swiftly take up and pass it.”