About the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

The Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention (Consortium) was created by Governor John Hickenlooper in the fall of 2013 to establish a coordinated, statewide response to this major public health problem. The mission of the Consortium is to reduce the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs in the State of Colorado through improvements in education, public outreach, research, safe disposal, and treatment. The goal of these efforts is to prevent 92,000 Coloradans from misusing opioids by 2016.

The Consortium serves as a backbone, providing infrastructure to link the many agencies, organizations, health professions, associations, task forces, and programs that are currently addressing the prescription drug abuse problem, but are doing so in relative isolation and without the benefit of an organized, coordinated approach. The Consortium is housed administratively in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and is coordinated by Professor Robert Valuck, PhD, RPh. The Consortium includes experts from the Anschutz Medical Campus health professional schools and colleges and leaders from key agencies and organizations in Colorado.

Each work group is responsible for implementing the major initiatives outlined in the Governor’s Colorado Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse (health professions, education, public awareness, research/data sharing, prescription drug monitoring (PDMP) improvements, and safe disposal). Further, the Consortium allows for a broad range of innovative training experiences for professional and postgraduate students while facilitating development of new research programs that will lead to more effective prevention efforts, treatment protocols, and awareness of the problem of prescription drug abuse in Colorado.

About The Campaign

Nearly 224,000 Coloradans misuse prescription relievers each year, and deaths involving the use of opioids nearly quadrupled between 2000 and 2011.

The Hickenlooper administration pledged to reduce the non-medical use of prescription pain medications in Colorado by 3.5%, or 92,000 Coloradans, by 2016. The Consortium will work to meet specific quarterly goals in each of the six work group areas and produce a specific Colorado Plan in one year.

The consortium will be the vehicle that implements the governor’s strategic plan for reducing prescription drug abuse, and it will provide a framework for continued collaboration in the future.

The Consortium houses six focus-area workgroups. Each one focuses on action steps identified in the strategic planning process. The workgroups are as follows:

Provider Education

  • Change state board policies for all DORA-licensed prescribers to include pain management  guidelines
  • Increase educational opportunities for prescribers
  • Enlist and support DORA to provide education about the existence and utilization of  the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) as part of the licensing processes for  prescribers and pharmacists

PDMP (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program)

  • Examine use of the PDMP as a public health tool
  • Improve usability and appropriate accessibility of the PDMP system through the use of  information technology and increased stakeholder access


  • Expand take-back program in law enforcement agencies – develop permanent drop-off sites with law enforcement
  • Establish Colorado guidelines on disposal

Public Awareness

  • Develop social marketing campaign that targets the general public and overcomes existing  obstacles and misperceptions

Data and Analysis

  • Map out sources of data related to prescription drug use, misuse and overdose in the state to  monitor trends, educate the public and inform decision making by multiple stakeholders
  • Identify other efforts that successfully use crosswalks between diverse data sources and  successfully standardize their data collection tools across agencies


  • Identify the current landscape of treatment in Colorado and any gaps in services

About the Public Awareness Work Group

Co-Chair: Jose Esquibel, Colorado Attorney General’s Office of Community Engagement

Co-Chair: Kent MacLennan, Executive Director, Rise Above Colorado

The Public Awareness Work Group focuses on raising public awareness among Colorado citizens regarding the problem of prescription drug abuse and promoting the safe use, storage, and disposal of prescription medications.

The Public Awareness Work Group’s goals for 2016-17 are to:

  • Develop (or utilize existing) social marketing campaigns that target the general public and overcome existing obstacles and misperceptions;
  • Develop (or utilize existing) social marketing campaigns that target youth and young adults (12-25 year olds) and overcome existing obstacles and misperceptions;
  • Engage and coordinate with community partners to promote resources for professionals; and
  • Continue to grow and expand our Learning Community to showcase best practices from local Colorado communities and from other states.

The Public Awareness Work Group meets every other month (in person and by remote conferencing). The current work group roster, most recent meeting minutes, and upcoming meeting schedule are available on the left hand side of this page.

Please contact us at for more information on the Public Awareness Work Group or to volunteer to participate in the group’s activities.

About The Partners

Appreciation is extended to the agencies, offices and partnering organizations which have given their diligent efforts, and essential contributions to the creation and ongoing effectiveness of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. This very impressive list of partners can be found on the Consortium’s website at If you or your organization would like to join this movement to impact the safe use, storage and disposal of prescription medications in Colorado please contact the Consortium.


Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

Coordinating Center

University of Colorado | Anschutz Medical Campus

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Mail Stop C238

12850 E. Montview Blvd. | Aurora, CO 80045


Robert Valuck, Center Director

Rosemarie MacDowell, Center Coordinator


Phone: 303.724.8574

Fax: 303.724.2627