Denver Art Museum hosts Colorado's first-ever Fentanyl Summit


DENVER (KDVR) – According to the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area map, in just over five months Colorado officials have confiscated over 2 million dosage units of fentanyl. That’s more fentanyl seized in the first part of 2022 than the entirety of 2021.

That’s why state leaders held a two-day seminar this week that aimed to arm officials with information to combat this rising crisis.

With more than 270 public safety leaders, district attorneys, and elected officials in attendance at the Denver art Museum, Mayor Michael B. Hancock inaugurated the first-ever Colorado Fentanyl Summit, which ran from June 2-3.

“The devastating effects of the public health and safety crisis caused by fentanyl have been felt in every community in Colorado,” Hancock said. The summit’s organizers designed the program around the blatant need to educate attendees about all areas of fentanyl enforcement.

To open the summit, the DEA Denver Field Division’s Special Agent in Charge, Brian Besser, led a panel discussion on the fentanyl crisis as a whole before handing the mic over to representatives with the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, who presented on fentanyl seizure data as well as updates on field testing and overdose mapping.

“As we’ve seen at the fentanyl summit, law enforcement and community partners are committed to protecting Colorado communities from fentanyl. I want to thank Mayor Hancock for bringing together so many law enforcement professionals to learn from each other so they can respond to this crisis and save lives,” Attorney General Phil Weiser said.

An extremely personal aspect of the summit took the form of a panel that consisted of discussions led by family members of those who have died from fentanyl-fueled poisoning.

“The human suffering has been immense, but it’s matched by our collective determination to rise to this challenge, bring justice to those who have been victimized and their families, and save lives. We’re united at all levels and throughout the state and will use all tools available to us to rid our community of this poison,” Hancock explained.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an ongoing addiction to opioids or any other habit-forming substance, you should reach out to Denver’s crisis service hotline by visiting their homepage, or by simply calling 1-844-493-8255.

“What we’ve learned during the summit is that the manufacturers and distributors of illegal synthetic fentanyl are willing to go to any lengths to maximize profit – without regard to the tragic and lethal consequences,” City Attorney Kristin Bronson said.

A fight to overcome addiction to these compounds is not designed to be easy, but it is never an impossible goal to attain, to come back from the drug-fueled brink.

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