Heroin treatment denver colorado – help is here
This article on heroin treatment Denver first appeared on The Denver Post, 03/30/2016.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Gov. John Hickenlooper and his health cabinet met Thursday in Denver to bring focus to best practices for fighting opioid abuse.
I m spending time on the issue because here in Colorado and across the country people … don t realize the costs in terms of lives, health and economics, Burwell said. The number of deaths that come from overdose is greater than the number of deaths that come from car accidents.
HHS recently launched a bipartisan initiative to reduce prescription opioid and heroin abuse, overdose deaths and dependence. The president s 2016 budget includes investments to intensify efforts, including $99 million in new funding.
We recognize we still have a long way to go, but we ve reduced abuse … and gone from being one of the worst states to middle of the pack, Hickenlooper said during a brief press conference after an hour-long roundtable discussion with Burwell.
Colorado has attained results using best practices endorsed by HHS, Burwell said, which include the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a voluntary prescriber registry that tracks how many different sources for drugs a patient might be tapping.
And the state has liberalized laws to increase access to naloxone, an antidote to narcotics overdoses.
This drug very effectively prevents death, Burwell said. Colorado again is taking the steps to lead in this.
Burwell outlined other best practices, such as educating physicians and other prescribers on how to avoid over-prescribing opioid painkillers.
And she called for expanding the use of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), comprehensively addressing substance abuse with medication, counseling and behavioral therapies.
Blair Hubbard, introduced by Burwell, said addiction treatment using medication (methadone) had saved her life. Her story of addiction was typical, she said. After being prescribed an opioid after minor surgery, she continued to chase the feeling when her prescription ran out. She bought it on the street and then switched to heroin, which is stronger, cheaper and easier to get.
In Colorado, Hickenlooper recently began a public awareness campaign called Take Meds Seriously to address the epidemic abuse of prescription drugs and the 35 deaths a month from unintentional overdoses.
Members of the governor s health cabinet, representatives from the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, representatives from Denver Health and other stakeholders joined Hickenlooper and Burwell for the roundtable discussion at Denver Health.