- In 2012-2013, Colorado ranked 12th in the nation in self-reported nonmedical use of opioid painkillers.14
- 25 percent of Coloradans acknowledge using pain relief medications in a way not prescribed by their doctor.3
- 29 percent of Coloradans have used pain relief medication prescribed for someone else.3
- Oxycodone prescriptions increased 12.5 percent from Q3 2013 to Q3 2014.8
- At least one Coloradan, and in many cases more, died per day (1.6 per day) in 2013 from unintentional drug poisonings.5
- 50 Coloradans died each month in 2013 from unintentional drug poisonings (and 35 of these 50 were from prescribed medications).5
- Deaths related to prescription medicine overdoses nearly quadrupled between 2000 and 2011.6
- Unintentional drug poisoning deaths jumped almost 82 percent from 2004 to 2013.4
- In 2013, 35 percent of all drug poisoning deaths involved prescription painkillers.7
- Annual deaths from painkillers such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone and fentanyl more than tripled from 2000 to 2013.7
Access and Treatment
- Treatment admissions for Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Meperidine, Methadone, and Fentanyl nearly tripled between 2004 and 2012.9
- From 2011 to 2013, Coloradans ages 18-25 made more than twice as many trips to emergency departments due to prescription painkillers than the general population.10
- From 2011 to 2013, Coloradans made an average of 7,600 visits per year to emergency departments due to drug overdoses; 86 percent of those trips were related to prescription painkiller overdoses.10
- Generally, Colorado teens believe prescription drugs are safer to use than street drugs because they are prescribed by a physician.11
- Teens say prescription drugs are “easier to get than beer” because prescription medications are easily obtained from friends’ and family’s medicine cabinets.11
- 1 in 7 Colorado high school students has taken prescription medications without a doctor’s prescription.12
- 1 in 6 of Colorado’s high school seniors has taken prescription medications without a doctor’s prescription.12
- Collections increased each year from the Colorado National Take-Back Initiative inception in 2011 through 2014.13
- 2013: 39,608 pounds
2012: 30,035 pounds
2011: 25,744 pounds
- Statistic provided by the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
- 2014 Statewide Survey, Dec. 2014, by National Research Center, Boulder, for Public Awareness Work Group, Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
- ”Poisoning deaths by selected categories: Colorado residents, 2000-2013.” Research provided by the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Vital Statistics Unit. Released October 2014. Colorado Special Emphasis Report: Drug Overdose Deaths, 1999-2013.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (January 8, 2013). The NSDUH Report: State Estimates of Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers. Rockville, MD.
- Prescription Drug Abuse in Colorado, http://peerassistanceservices.org/programs/prescription-drug-abuse-prevention/
- Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Colorado Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. 2014.
- “Proceedings of the Denver Epidemiology Work Group (DEWG),” The Denver Office of Drug Strategy, The Denver Drug Strategy Commission,” April 18, 2014.
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Vital Statistics Unit. Released January 2015. Prescription Drug Overdose Data.
- Johnston, L.D., O’Malley, P.M., Miech, R.A., Bachman, J.G., & Schulenberg, J.E. (2015). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use: 1975-2014: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/mtf-overview2014.pdf
- Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Department of Human Services-Office of Behavioral Health. Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (2013).
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Denver Field Division, National Take Back Initiative, November 2014.