The Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention coordinates Colorado’s response to the misuse of medications such as opioids, stimulants, and sedatives. The Consortium’s mission is to reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse in Colorado by developing policies, programs, and partnerships with the many Colorado agencies, organizations, and community coalitions addressing one of the state’s major public health crises.
The Consortium works with state and federal agencies and task forces, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, public health officials, and other groups that address the prescription drug abuse problem. Together, they work to improve education, public outreach, research, safe disposal, and treatment. Since its formation in 2013, the Consortium has focused on the opioid epidemic.
Examples of work include the Take Meds Seriously and Take Meds Back public awareness campaigns, educational brochures and posters, community forums, and numerous events for health care providers. In 2017, the Consortium is creating a toolkit that partners can use to guide or supplement their work.
The Consortium also advises policymakers on legislation and programming that can be implemented to address the crisis.
For many years, the Consortium’s predecessor, the Colorado Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, worked to educate providers about the problems of opioid abuse, diversion, and doctor shopping. In 2012, as the opioid crisis grew in scope and impact, Gov. John Hickenlooper convened experts from across the state to create the Colorado Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse.
To promote a collaborative, interagency, and interprofessional response to the crisis, Gov. Hickenlooper established the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, an innovative model based on the Collective Impact approach. The Consortium was initially funded by a $1 million budget from former Attorney General John Suthers and launched in the summer of 2013 to implement the state’s strategic plan.
Nine work groups determine and execute the Consortium’s strategy. Each work group is co-chaired by volunteers from our partner organizations.
COMMUNITY COALITION PARTNERS
The Consortium works with more than a dozen local and regional coalitions to support their community-based work, including:
- Tri-County Overdose Prevention Partnership
- Boulder County Opioid Advisory Group
- North Colorado Health Alliance
- Pueblo Heroin Task Force
- El Paso County Coalition for Prevention, Addiction Education, and Recovery
- Area Health Education Centers: San Luis Valley, Central, Centennial, Southeast, Southwest, and Western
- Yampa Valley Rx Task Force
- Denver Youth Prevention Services
In May 2017, the State of Colorado approved the creation of a center dedicated to substance abuse research and prevention at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The new center received $1 million from the state and will be part of the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The center will provide additional resources to the Consortium as it works along with its partners to coordinate and support Colorado’s response to the opioid epidemic.