THE COLORADO PLAN TO REDUCE PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE

Prescription drug misuse and abuse is a serious problem both nationally and here in Colorado.  Each year, overdose deaths from opioid painkillers alone number approximately 17,000 nationally and 300 in Colorado. Such deaths are now more common than alcohol-related traffic fatalities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) call prescription drug overdose deaths one of the four most serious epidemics facing the nation. As recently as 2010-2011, Colorado ranked #2 in the nation among young adults ages 12-24 for self-admitted, non-medical use of prescription painkillers. Enough opioid painkillers are dispensed by pharmacies in the United States to supply each and every American citizen with enough painkilling pills to take one every four hours, around the clock, for a month. To address this problem, Colorado convened experts from across the state to create the Colorado Plan to Reduce Rx Abuse (see below/right for a downloadable PDF copy of the plan).

COLORADO LAUNCHES TAKE MEDS SERIOUSLY PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

In February 2015, the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, in conjunction with Webb Strategic Communications and Zeto Creative, launched a statewide public awareness campaign called TakeMedsSeriously.org. The campaign has three key messages: Safe Use, Safe Storage, and Safe Disposal of prescription medications; as well as informative statistics, real life stories from affected families, a quiz to test your knowledge, and useful links to resources that can help people find ways to protect themselves and their loved ones from the problems and consequences of misuse or abuse.

UPCOMING EVENTS

2017 Work Group Meeting Schedules
2018 Work Group Meeting Schedules

STRATEGIC PLAN

With assistance from the National Governor’s Association (NGA) Policy Academy to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse, experts from across Colorado gathered in 2013 and created a statewide Strategic Plan to address this problem. Download a copy of the plan below.

COLORADO LEGISLATURE

Track the progress of the Legislature’s Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Interim Study Committee. The committee met throughout 2017 to review the scope of the substance use disorder problem in Colorado and what’s being done to fight the opioid epidemic. The committee drafted six bills for the 2018 legislative session.