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Monday, December 6th, 2021

Tucson area CBP hosts informational conference on dangers of fentanyl contact

Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Tucson Office of Field Operations recently hosted a two-day conference for law enforcement personnel on the dangers of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Held at the headquarters of the Tucson Police Department, the event featured informational sessions from medical practitioners and law enforcement professionals on how to avoid contact with the illicit substance and how to properly use Narcan, a drug that temporarily reverses fentanyl-related overdoses.

“We are doing all we can to spread the word and ensure that everyone is aware of the clear danger we now face with this synthetic opioid epidemic,” Ronald Sulliveras, executive director of CBP’s National Targeting Center, said. “We are approaching this situation collectively as a government to manage and mitigate this present danger while still doing our jobs.”

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Senior Research Chemist Joseph Bozenko noted that even trace amounts of fentanyl can be lethal to a person exposed to it and is known to be 50 to 100 times more deadly than heroin.

“Opioid education is key and critical to our communities in order to combat this epidemic,” Merlin Thomas Curry of St. Mary’s Hospital Tucson said. “Fentanyl is a real danger to law enforcement officers and first responders and we should all be cautious.”