Last week, a bipartisan panel of legislators in Colorado supported a package of six bills aimed at preventing and treating the state’s opioid crisis.
As The Denver Post reports, the approach puts the state in the top tier for its response and has been boosted by a $35 million infusion from the federal government t test solutions to what President Donald Trump has labeled a national public health emergency.
But Colorado has been working on a response to the rise in opioid-related overdoses since 2012, when Gov. John Hickenlooper ordered a plan to combat prescription drug abuse.
Now, the state is spending $1 million to create a drug-abuse research center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora that will focus on expanding prevention, treatment and recovery initiatives.
As The Denver Post reported last week, The rate of drug overdose deaths in Colorado since 2000 has more than doubled. And, according to state health officials, that rate has tripled in just the past five years. Fatal overdoses related to heroin – also an opioid – increased nearly five times in that same period