The Problem

Colorado Statistics

Misuse

Colorado Statistics

Additional statistics:

  • 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

Deaths

Colorado Statistics

Additional statistics:

  • 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

Colorado Statistics

Additional statistics:

  • 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

Teens

Colorado Statistics

Additional statistics:

  • 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

Disposal

Colorado Statistics

Additional Statistics:

  • 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

Sources

  1. Statistic provided by the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
  2. http://www.corxconsortium.org/
  3. 2014 Statewide Survey, Dec. 2014, by National Research Center, Boulder, for Public Awareness Work Group, Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
  4. ”Poisoning deaths by selected categories: Colorado residents, 2000-2013.” Research provided by the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
  5. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Vital Statistics Unit. Released October 2014. Colorado Special Emphasis Report: Drug Overdose Deaths, 1999-2013.
  6. 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.
  7. Prescription Drug Abuse in Colorado, http://peerassistanceservices.org/programs/prescription-drug-abuse-prevention/
  8. Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Colorado Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. 2014.
  9. “Proceedings of the Denver Epidemiology Work Group (DEWG),” The Denver Office of Drug Strategy, The Denver Drug Strategy Commission,” April 18, 2014.
  10. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Vital Statistics Unit. Released January 2015. Prescription Drug Overdose Data.
  11. 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
  12. 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).
  13. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Denver Field Division, National Take Back Initiative, November 2014.
  14. http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHStateEst2012-2013-p1/ChangeTabs/NSDUHsaeShortTermCHG2013.pdf