Location: RM 271
The Colorado Response: Coalitions and Task Forces
OPIOID AND OTHER SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS
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01:22 PM -- The Colorado Response: Coalitions and Task Forces
Representative Pettersen called the meeting back to order. Jose Esquibel, Office of the Attorney General and the Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force (task force), presented to the committee and distributed handouts (Attachments G, H, I, J, and K). Mr. Esquibel described his previous professional experience with substance abuse. He explained the origins of the legislatively mandated task force and described the membership. Mr. Esquibel went over the charge of the task force, which includes monitoring substance abuse data, identifing best practices, and preparing an annual report and recommendations for legislators.
Mr. Esquibel discussed various committees of the task force, including the Substance Exposed Newborn Committee, the Hospital Learning Collaborative, and Epidemiologist and Outcomes Work Group. He reviewed three policy recommendations that the task force made to the legislature in 2016. Mr. Esquibel explained the task force priorities for 2016, which included supporting the expansion of medication-assisted treatment, increasing access to naloxone, and monitoring underage use of marijuana.
Mr. Esquibel discussed an initiative of the task force to obtain naloxone kits. He reviewed 2017 task force priorities, including addressing the impact of substance abuse on children, medication-assisted treatment expansion, funding AmeriCorps volunteers in the local community, initiating the Recovery Ready Colorado program, and gathering updated data and trends on substance use. He noted that the task force is set to repeal in July 2018. Mr. Esquibel responded to questions from the committee regarding substance use and suicide, and success rates for treatment programs.
Mr. Esquibel continued to respond to questions regarding measurements of success for the task force and the price of naloxone and other addiction treatments.
Dr. Robert Valuck, Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention (consortium), presented to the committee and distributed a handout (Attachment L). He described the origin of the consortium, and summarized Governor Hickenlooper's strategic plan to reduce prescription drug abuse. Dr. Valuck explained the mission and objectives of the consortium, which include reducing overdose death, reducing emergency department visits and hospital stays related to substance abuse, increasing treatment admissions, and reducing non-medical use of opioids. Dr. Valuck highlighted the progress of certain work groups of the consortium, including the public awareness work group, safe disposal work group, the provider education work group, the heroin response work group, and the affected families work groups.
Dr. Valuck responded to a question regarding limiting opioid quantities when prescribing, and physician retraining, and how Colorado compares to other states in regards to addressing opioid abuse.
Dr. Valuck discussed efforts to obtain federal money to support local communities in combating opioid use, and gave examples of recent grants that the consortium has been involved with.
Lisa Raville, Harm Reduction Action Center, presented to the committee and distributed a handout (Attachment M). She explained the recent shift from use of prescription pills to use of heroin. Ms. Raville described the Syringe Access Program in Colorado and the effort to reduce injection-related diseases, and explained legislation related to decriminalizing syringes. Ms. Raville described other services offered at the Harm Reduction Action Center, including health education programs and advocacy. She provided data regarding participation in the Syringe Access Program in Colorado.
Ms. Raville discussed reasons why people overdose on opioids, including change in quality of opioid, tolerance, mixing substances, and using opioids by themselves. She explained the signs of an overdose and how overdoses are reversed, including through the use of naloxone. Ms. Raville described the training to administer naloxone, and explained who can administer naloxone and which pharmacies stock naloxone.
Ms. Raville responded to questions regarding the Good Samaritan Law, reasons for the lack of access to treatment, and controlled injection sites to avoid public overdoses.