The Problem at Home

There’s a reason it’s called the opioid epidemic — in 2020, opioid overdoses killed 939 Colorado residents. That’s more than 78 people a month, or 18 people a week.

Those numbers include deaths from opioids such as oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and fentanyl, as well as heroin, which some people begin using after developing an opioid use disorder.

Thousands of Coloradans struggle with opioid use disorder, which takes an enormous toll on their lives, their families and their community. Opioid use disorder is characterized by the persistent use of opioids despite adverse consequences.

Causes for opioid overdoses include taking medications in a way not prescribed by a doctor or taking medications that were prescribed for another person. Prescription opioids can be used safely when prescribed and supervised by a doctor. However, misuse and abuse of prescription pain medication can lead to substance use disorder or even death.

This website will help you learn how you can protect yourself, your family, and your community from the opioid epidemic.

For more information about the prescription drug crisis in Colorado and how we’re fighting it, visit the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention at

A National Crisis

You’ve likely heard, safe use of prescription pain medication is a concern for communities across the United States. More than 69,700 people died from opioid overdoses in 2020, and the epidemic costs the U.S. more than $500 billion a year.

You should know, opioids can be used safely when prescribed and supervised by a doctor. However, long-term opioid use does increase the chance for opioid use disorder and overdose. You might want to consider getting naloxone, an FDA-approved medication that can reverse an overdose. Learn more at

You can read more about the national epidemic at, a website of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.