The State of Colorado has taken on the issue of prescription drug abuse after a national survey ranked Colorado as the second-worst among all fifty states for abusing. You can read more about the survey and Colorado’s efforts to combat this problem at the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Prescription Drug Misuse Prevention website. Also, last fall Governor Hickenlooper’s office released a report, the Colorado Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse.
Abuse of prescription drugs includes taking prescriptions that were prescribed to someone else; taking prescription drugs in a manner not prescribed by the doctor (i.e. taking more than the prescribed dose, or for something other than which they were prescribed); otherwise obtaining prescriptions illegally; or not properly disposing of leftover or unwanted medications. Misuse of prescription drugs can lead to addiction, overdose, and even death. Yesterday Governor Hickenlooper signed legislation to modify and update the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the state’s program for combating prescription drug abuse. According to the Governor’s media advisory, the legislation will help save lives and bring Colorado in line with national standards. “In 2012, more than twice as many people in Colorado died from overdose due to opioid pain killers (295) than from drunk driving-related crashes (133),” reports the Department of Regulatory Agencies.