Victoria Traxler, The New Mexican - Teen fentanyl deaths in New Mexico

Victoria Traxler, The New Mexican
Teen fentanyl deaths in New Mexico

There are many ways to refute the idea that children are just like adults, only younger —  but death by drug overdose is NOT one of them.

Nope.  In New Mexico at least, the trend in that particular form of tragedy is quite consistent.  About two percent of all drug overdose deaths occur in people under the age of 18, and this has been true for about the last five years, as overall fatalities from drug overdoes have been on a sharp and distressing 54 percent rise.

For a variety of reasons, it should be no surprise that the pandemic year of 2020 should have been by far the worst year yet for deaths by drug overdose in New Mexico. Still a 25 percent increase year-to-year over 2019 is shocking. According to the federal CDC, last year there were 721 deaths by overdose, 147 more than the year before. Statistics compiled by the state are even worse.  And still that one in 50 share for people under 18 has held steady.

Except where it comes to fentanyl, the artificial opioid which is the fastest-growing killer drug in New Mexico. According to provisional data from the New Mexico Department of Health, 15 people under 20 in the state died in 2020 from fentanyl-involved overdoses. When it comes to death by fentanyl, the young abusers share isn’t one in 50, it’s slightly more than one in 20.

There’s been a recent surge in fentanyl related deaths in Southern New Mexico, and our guest today, reporter Victoria Traxler of the Santa Fe daily, The New Mexican, has found evidence of fentanyl’s dangerous presence among teenagers in Santa Fe County.



Victoria Traxler is a reporter for the Santa Fe daily, The New Mexican.  She writes, “As a child, I had a desire to explore and connect with things outside of what I knew. To my mom’s distress, I always wandered away in search of the things that intrigued me. As I’ve grown older, nothing seems to have changed.  In my work, I hope to continue the same ideas with the same curiosity. I want my work to bring people to an understanding of a subject in new ways.

My undergraduate experiences at Elon University have introduced me to the influence of multimedia content and the global impact it has. My combined majors of Journalism and International Studies connected my ability to work with multimedia content and my desire to explore the world from authentic perspectives.

I feel a strong pull towards learning, connecting, and compiling information in a way that people find engaging and enveloping. Through my work, I found a passion for the role of multimedia communications today



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