Birth looked different during COVID-19, said Jessica Anderson, a member of the Colorado Maternal Mortality Committee. What’s supposed to be one of the most magical — and gut-wrenching — moments of a parent’s life became isolating. “By wearing masks, there’s so much connection that, you know, comes with facial expressions,” Anderson said. “It looks different, […]
Parents of young Coloradans killed by fentanyl call it murder. So why aren’t there more convictions?
In a matter of seconds, a tiny blue pill disguised as a prescription painkiller can kill a person with a lethal dose of fentanyl, a drug so powerful that amounts as tiny as a few grains of salt are deadly. Parents of Colorado high school and college students who have died after taking the synthetic […]
Colorado’s program to stop patients from “doctor shopping” for opioids hasn’t been working, audit finds
A Colorado program that allows doctors, dentists, pharmacists and others to check a database before issuing prescriptions for certain drugs hasn’t stopped so-called “doctor shopping” for opioids and sedatives and requires legislation to compel prescribers to register with the database and to use it. That’s according to the Office of the State Auditor, which examined Colorado’s Prescription […]
Colorado hospitals are giving patients take-home doses of the overdose antidote to fight the opioid crisis
When doctors write a prescription for the life-saving antidote to an opioid overdose, patients only bother to fill them about 5% of the time. But what if hospital physicians simply handed a vial of naloxone to the patients they worry are most likely to die, particularly those who were just rushed to the emergency room […]
Counterfeit opioid pills made in Mexico pushed Colorado into a third, deadly wave of the opioid crisis
Colorado has entered the third wave — the deadliest wave so far — in the opioid epidemic, as counterfeit opioid pills made to look like real oxycodone or Xanax are supplanting heroin in state drug-smuggling operations, the regional DEA office has warned. The evidence is in the overdose statistics, which skyrocketed in 2020. Overdoses due […]
Lack of child care prevents moms from getting drug treatment in Colorado. Here comes “RV Honey.”
Rewa Bailey’s office inside a substance abuse treatment center has an infant swing in the corner. Baby gates strategically placed throughout the building corral toddlers while their mothers try to focus on group therapy sessions. And as often as possible, the staff at Aspen Center in Westminster switches out the toys in an attempt to […]
Colorado governor vetoes bill that sought to reduce prescription opioid abuse
Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday vetoed a bill that sought to reduce opioid abuse in Colorado because it would have increased the cost of health insurance. Provisions in House Bill 1085 requiring insurance carriers to cover at least six annual physical therapy visits, six annual acupuncture visits, six annual occupational therapy visits, and six annual […]
We’re dealing with a pandemic, but remember the opioid crisis? Coronavirus is likely to make it worse.
The coronavirus pandemic overshadowed a long list of other problems that suddenly seemed less urgent in the wake of a deadly virus and its economic destruction. Included at the top of that list: the opioid epidemic. That crisis is still raging in Colorado and predicted to get even worse thanks to the stress, isolation and […]
Opinion: It’s time for our federal and state lawmakers to get serious about fentanyl
As federal prosecutors, we in the U.S. Attorney’s office battle daily with transnational drug dealers who seek to import their poison to Colorado. Working with our partners at the DEA, the FBI, Homeland Security and local law enforcement, we all too often seize large quantities of heroin, meth and cocaine destined for Colorado’s streets. […]
Colorado could soon get a lot of money from opioid settlements. But where should those dollars go?
Colorado could soon be in line for tens of millions — maybe even hundreds of millions — of dollars from legal settlements related to the opioid epidemic. That kind of windfall would represent a major leap forward in the state’s effort to combat the crisis, which has claimed more than 5,000 Coloradans’ lives since 2000. […]