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3391143DE2C46CD4872582D000591945 Hearing Summary


Date Jul 20, 2018      
Location HCR 0112

Overview of National Efforts to Address the Opioid Crisis - Committee Discussion Only

10:13:12 AM  

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman discussed her role as the Chair of the Colorado Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force (task force).  She discussed the charge and structure of the task force and the work of the task force.  She spoke about the entities that the take force collaborates with to purchase Narcan for use by law enforcement.  She stated that her office is working with several other states to investigate the marketing of the opioids.  She spoke about the activities related to this investigation.

10:22:10 AM  

Committee members commented on the role of pharmaceutical companies in creating the opioid crisis and the role they could take in solving the problem.  AG Coffman responded to questions. Committee discussion ensued about the the use of warning labels on opioid prescriptions to notify patients of the addictive properties of opioids as well as instructions on safe disposal of unused opioids.  Committee members pointed out that there are patients who have chronic pain and need access to opioids.

10:31:04 AM  

Committee discussion about multi-state settlements with pharmaceutical companies and the distribution of the proceeds followed.

10:36:18 AM  

Committee discussion and questions continued about the role that pharmaceutical companies played in the opioid epidemic and the issues surrounding international drug smuggling.

10:45:00 AM  

The committee discussed the black market distribution of drugs and whether law enforcement agencies have the tools to combat this problem.  AG Coffman suggested that local law enforcement agencies do not have the resources to address illegal marijuana grows or other drug distribution issues.

10:49:59 AM  

Committee discussion ensued about possible legislation to address drug crimes, and substance use issues effecting Native American communities.

10:55:17 AM  

Jose Esquibel, Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force, told the committee that opioid and heroin overdoses continue to rise across the country.  He discussed a variety of publications that provided detailed information about the current status of the opioid epidemic (these documents are available on the committees website at:  He suggested that Colorado is a national leader in its response to the epidemic.

11:03:46 AM  

Committee members commented on the cost to solve the epidemic. Mr. Esquibel responded to questions about educational efforts aimed at substance use prevention and mental health support, such as Communities That Care and Restoring Individuals Safely and Effectively (RISE).  Discussion about educating health care providers on safe opioid use and prescribing followed.

11:13:11 AM  

Dr. Rob Valuck, Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention (CCPDAP), discussed the federal government's efforts to address the opioid crisis and referred to documents that he provided to the committee (these documents may be found on the committee's website at: ). He discussed Colorado's involvement with directing policy at the federal level.

11:18:13 AM  

Committee discussion and questions followed about research related to the medical use of marijuana, evidence based studies on the uses of medical marijuana, other pharmaceuticals that may be abused, alternatives to opioids, and international efforts to address substance abuse and misuse.

11:32:31 AM  

The committee discussed the genesis of the fifth vital sign and Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates for pain management services and drugs.

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