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:
- 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
- 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: Carol Runyan, Ph.D., Professor Colorado School of Public Health
Co-Chair: Stan Paprocki, Director of Community Prevention Programs Division of Behavioral Health, Colorado Department of Human Services
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 2014-2015 (year 1 of the strategic plan) are to:
- Develop (or utilize existing) social marketing campaign that targets the general public and overcomes existing obstacles and misperceptions; and
- Develop (or utilize existing) social marketing campaign that targets youth and young adults (12-25 year olds) and overcomes existing obstacles and misperceptions.
The Public Awareness work group meets monthly.
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 CoRXConsortium.com. 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
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