GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) – This week KREX 5 has been following the recent developments of fentanyl in the United States.

We’ve heard from the Colorado General Attorney’s office and the drug enforcement agency, both want to see an increase in law enforcement resources.

We also heard from local advocate, Andrea Thomas and her tragic story of loosing her daughter, Ashley Romero.

The Voices for Awareness Foundation is tackling the growing concern of fentanyl in the United States and especially here on the Western Slope. “She had a very big light, she had a very big smile and she made friends with everybody that crossed her path,” Andrea Thomas, said.

Ashley Romero once dreamed of becoming a forensic scientist, instead she took a counterfeit painkiller laced with the poison fentanyl and died at 32.

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“Three years ago, I didn’t know what fentanyl was, my daughter didn’t know what fentanyl was and now I get calls every day from mothers all across the country that have lost young children to fentanyl,” Thomas says.

Shortly after Ashley died, her mother Andrea Thomas started the Voices for Awareness Foundation.

Just two milligrams of fentanyl is lethal. Local prosecutors have seen a huge uptick in fentanyl cases. “I don’t believe we’ve seen anything that parallels fentanyl in my time as a prosecutor in terms of its availability lethality,” Rich Tuttle, Assistant District Attorney.

For teens, suppliers are as close as social media.

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