Opioid Abuse Prevention Tool Kit

In a continued effort to address the growing opioid epidemic in Colorado, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing announced it is tightening its policy on prescribing and dispensing opioid pain medications to Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) members. Click here for more information.

Provider Education

The 3rd Colorado Opioid Epidemic Symposium took place on September 24-25, 2015 at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. Two previous Colorado Opioid Epidemic Symposium events brought state and regional partners together – in Northern Colorado (July 2014) and on the Western Slope (May 2015) – staging dialogue leading to the refinement of best practices in managing opioids for the treatment of chronic pain, and providing certified continuing medical education for providers.

The 3rd Colorado Opioid Epidemic Symposium provided a timely opportunity for medical, behavioral, legal, pharmacy, government, policy, and case management professionals in the southern part of the state, as well as representatives from our communities, to (1) contribute to the development and adoption of a set of shared best practices for the management of opioids in the setting of chronic pain, to (2) address the complexities of treating chronic pain, and (3) develop avenues for sharing critical information about patients at risk for serious adverse outcomes related to their abuse or misuse of opioids. This Symposium presented a unique opportunity for participants to unite efforts and increase collaborative efficiency in population health management, altering the course of the epidemic, and saving lives.

In 2013, drug overdoses were the leading cause of injury deaths for people aged 25-64 in the US. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2014) Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html.)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports the Northeastern region of Colorado has the highest rate of use in the state (SAMHSA – Table 8: Nonmedical Use of Pain Relievers in the Past Year among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by State and Substate Regions: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2010, 2011, and 2012 NSDUHs –http://archive.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/substate2k12/ExcelTabs/NSDUHsubstateTOC2012.htm)

22,767 deaths in 2013 in the US due to overdoses (CDC –http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html)


Colorado Opioid Epidemic Symposium II 

May 2017 – TCOPP – Aurora, CO
Video: Moving from What to How – Tools for Safe & Effective Opioid Prescribing 


Best Practice Guidelines

(Sample clinic note)

Best Practice Checklist for Risk Managing Opioid Prescribing – An Overview for Clinicians and Clinical Teams



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