How Alaska became one of fentanyl’s deadliest frontiers



An influx of fentanyl into Alaska in the last two years has vexed law enforcement, overwhelmed health systems and deeply affected struggling Native communities. 

In 2020 and 2021, the synthetic opioid was a major contributor in a spike in overdoses — the nation’s largest, according to Alaska’s public health department. In 2021, overdose deaths jumped by 74% in one year, with fentanyl deaths spiking by 150%, the report said. 

Drug traffickers have carved out a lucrative market for synthetic drugs like methamphetamine and fentanyl in Alaska, since they can extract higher profit margins in a remote region.

Read what Alaska’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program said about its 2022 drug interdiction efforts and the high rate of drug abuse in the Alaska Native population in the annual report to Congress at this CBS link.


  1. “Since they can extract higher profit margins” in rural areas. Rural areas . . . that lack jobs. So the old saw: “follow the money,” underscores the mainstream media’s silence on where the money comes from to pay these higher prices.

  2. Juneau fire department responds to at least one overdose a week. Junkies wander the streets in the valley and discarded needles can be regularly found in bus stops and trailhead parking lots. Hand to hand drug deals can be seen any day you like on South Franklin. Traffickers recently were caught bringing 20 pounds of meth to Juneau and shortly after that a separate trafficker was busted with several thousand Fentanyl pills.

    All this and our police force continues to do their very best to ignore the issue. The two busts mentioned above were the direct result of activities of other outside law enforcement agencies work and aside from those busts there has been very little drug enforcement activity in Juneau over the last two years.

    • I’m not so sure JPD is choosing to ignore this as told to by the Mayor and Assembly.

      Have you seen the backside of Nugget Mall since the Glory Hole relocation? Extended Stay?

  3. I certainly agree with Bruce’s comment and would add that God will sort this all out one day and Biden/Obama open Southern border as being a somewhere to place a lot of the blame for all this.

    • I’m afraid that the way to prevent deaths is to prevent people from ingesting the drug, whether or not these folks know what it is. If someone is going to unknowingly inject a white powder into their circulatory system that passes through their heart, lungs, and brain, then that is the first point that must be addressed, as fentanyl is so potent and deadly and easily ‘hidden’, but it comes into the U.S. through various points of entry and focusing on the the southern border is a spurious measure to decrease deaths from fentanyl overdose.

      Quoting from the DEA Executive Summary, “the flow of fentanyl into the United States [in 2019] is more diverse compared to the start of the fentanyl crisis in 2014, with new source countries and new transit countries emerging as significant trafficking nodes. This is exacerbating the already multi-faceted fentanyl crisis by introducing additional source countries into the global supply chain of fentanyl, fentanyl-related substances, and fentanyl precursors.”

      “Further, this complicates law enforcement operations and policy efforts to stem the flow of fentanyl into the United States. While Mexico and China are the primary source countries for fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the United States, India is emerging as a source for finished fentanyl powder and fentanyl precursor chemicals.”

      From 2019 general internet information, China under Xi Jin Ping made a commitment to provide more control of the precursors of fentanyl through Beijing and autonomous region of Hong Kong at the 2018 G-20 Summit. From the DEA Executive Summary Jan 2020 it was reported China is the the world’s major source of ‘China White’ (68% of fentanyl and its precursors), entering the US through the US mail and trafficked through Canada, Mexico, India and China.

      Unlike cocaine and opium which are plant-derived, fentanyl is a total designer drug. As soon as any specific fentanyl precursor is designated for regulation, another chemical reaction is devised.

      Fentanyl and its precursors flow in and out of the USA as powder (of which that derived from China is more 90% pure and therefore can weigh less than 2 lbs), pressed pills, ‘stamps’, cut and diluted with other chemicals, such as heroin, baking soda, powdered sugar, flour, talcum powder, laundry detergent, caffeine, rat poison.

      According to a CBS report from 5 Dec. 2018, “China is the world’s largest exporter of pharmaceutical ingredients e.g. more than 5,000 firms, with more than 400,000 chemical manufacturing and distribution businesses.In its most recent annual report, the China FDA inspected only 15 firms that made controlled substances of precursors for controlled substances. Of those firms, three failed the inspections.”

  4. Perhaps because we have an issue with a system that pays out money like a mini Universal Basic Income would every year. It’s almost like free government handouts are abused to purchase drugs. Maybe we could have predicted this with years of data we have on drug usage after the pfd checks drop.

    Maybe it’s time to admit people should have to get jobs, work, contribute to society, and not receive free money from the government. Too bad the pfd is such a hard habit to break. People are so addicted to the free money. It may very well be more addictive to society than the drugs it’s used to purchase. This is how communism works, seems like a good for all, very addictive. Then the people that hand the money out start to hold on to more and more of it for themselves until they rule everyone and people just start to fight over the “free” scraps they hand out because they feel it’s their right. Sounds very familiar

    • Absolutely Right Trig. I was a Scout Dog Handler my first tour in Nam. A dog’s nose is a terrible thing to waste. Drug Dogs would have a Hey Day at the Airport Passenger and Cargo areas With so much of the population under the Influence it might be Too High a Target Rich Environment for them. Also they might SNIFF too much Fentanyl and it could hurt or kill them.

    • Maybe they don’t want to eliminate the problem. Maybe it’s just another part of the plan to destroy our country. Things sure have changed and not for the better in just two long years. I can’t even imagine the damage to come in the next two years

    • they have dogs at UPS and I am assuming FedEx but wondering if they have any at USPS which is probably how a lot of the drugs are sent out to the bush via AK Airlines or other smaller freight companies.

  5. I urge all Alaskans to make sound life-style decisions. It is never too late to start. Unfortunately, too many do not receive good information from parents, the school system or other adults. Alaska can be a harsh and unforgiving place.

  6. China’s history outlines it all for us. They endured 200 years of opium addiction crises and multiple wars with western powers (mostly Britain) who smuggled the opium in through Hong Kong. We can build fentanyl dens for addicts to go get intoxicated in and provide enough of the stuff to kill them with. The numbers if addicts and overdose fatalities will grow. Or we can fix the problem like Mao did in ten short years………..

  7. Well. Until our little rebels hear the gospel or choose to return to christ. They are on their way to hell for their sins. Hard cold truth. You won’t hear that from those liberal churches.. Sad to understand and guess thousands of addicts have died w/o christ and gone
    to hell, and hoping all
    of us (their familes, friend, neighbors)
    still in this body
    make better choices and choose to live for christ. We all given a choice how we will live, and how
    We will respond to temptation and difficulty.
    Choose life!

  8. Fentanyl is dirt cheap in Backwater, California. You can buy thousands for 50 cents or less per pill. I’m not sure what the street price in Anchorage is now but in some places it was as high as $50 per pill.

  9. Our government won’t let us defend our own border, it’s illegal to. That makes them traitors. They obviously hate us.

  10. To Bob: You do not realize that the drug enforcement in Juneau and Southeast is done by a team effort involving members of the Juneau Police Department, Alaska State Troopers, FBI, Post Office, and others I may not be aware of. The focus has to be on the large suppliers; this will warrant Federal charges which have strict mandatory penalties that are not available within the State judicial system. The drug problem is not being ignored.

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