Stronger, more addictive and cheaper to manufacture than many other drugs, the synthetic opioid fentanyl has ravaged the country in recent years — becoming one of leading causes of death among adults ages 18 to 45.

New Mexico is no exception.

The rate of fentanyl overdose deaths in the state has increased nearly sevenfold since 2016, according to state Department of Health data, jumping from 2.4 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016 to 16 deaths per 100,000 people in 2020. The drug has caused the death of nearly 600 people in New Mexico since 2016.

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