Tom RamstackTom RamstackDecember 4, 20176min599
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet cited alarming figures on the rise of opioid addictions in Colorado as he asked expert witnesses at a Senate hearing Thursday for their suggestions on a solution. He said too many addictions to the powerful painkillers are treated only after they reach a crisis. “There’s agreement from the witnesses […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


Clarice NavarroClarice NavarroApril 18, 20175min505

There is an opioid crisis in Colorado and across the nation. Colorado, and especially southern Colorado, has seen an increase in use and abuse of opioids. Traditionally, when we hear the word opioid we think of the “junkie,” but that’s not where it ends or begins. With the rise in use and abuse, we see a rise in crime and opioid-related deaths. The use and abuse can be attributed to many things including cost, over prescribing and especially mental illness. As with other drugs that are abused, there are all of the negatives that follow, and our communities are seeing it firsthand. Our law enforcement agencies are overwhelmed, our hospitals must cope and we see a rise in crime rates. All of which beg the question, "What is being done?"

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirFebruary 9, 20172min367

A state Senate committee gave all thumbs up Wednesday to a proposal to combat abuse of opioids like heroin, oxycodone and assorted other drugs, especially among youth.

Senate Bill 74 — introduced in the upper chamber by first-term Sen. Leroy Garcia, a Pueblo Democrat — would create a two-year pilot program under the auspices of the University of Colorado’s College of Nursing to expand access to “life-saving medication-assisted treatment.” The treatment involves both medication and behavioral therapy that the sponsor says have been proven to be clinically effective to reduce the need for inpatient detoxification services.

Garcia, quoted in a press statement from the Senate Democratic communications HQ, said:

“There are many stories I have heard about families and their loved ones that struggle with opioid addiction. In our community of Pueblo, this epidemic has particularly harmed our young people, and are tearing homes apart, but there just aren’t enough treatment options available. I know this bill is critical not just for Pueblo and Routt counties, but for all of Colorado, to expand access to treatment so we can take a modest, yet very important step in combatting the opioid epidemic.”

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee gave the legislation its unanimous, and thus, bipartisan endorsement. It now will get in line for funding in the Appropriations Committee.