Fighting Fentanyl: Bernalillo County commissioner leads conversation among business owners
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Bernalillo County commissioner is leading a conversation among business owners impacted by the fentanyl crisis.
Walt Benson isn’t just a county commissioner, he also owns two businesses in Albuquerque. He says when one of his employees overdosed in the bathroom he knew more of these conversations were needed, especially in the business community.
On Wednesday afternoon he hosted a panel to “Educate and Equip Employers Through the Fentanyl Crisis.”
On the panel was an agent with the DEA, an attorney, a consultant with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, and the nonprofit operations director for Fathers Building Futures.
Business owners tackled issues like how to handle crime as a result of the drug epidemic, high employee turnover, and providing resources to employees struggling with addiction.
“We are really just going to be scratching the surface today,” Benson said. “There are so many nuances to the problems that are out there and what we are trying to do is hit it from a high level but the experts that we have here have a huge background of expertise and that is what we are bringing to the table.”
Benson owns two Baskin-Robbins locations in Albuquerque and is encouraging other business owners to get involved with the county. They work alongside UNMH and nonprofits around the city to help employers and workers navigate addiction.
The discussion was held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Bernalillo County Chambers on Silver. For more on Fentanyl Awareness Week events, click here.