Colorado Lawmakers Propose Bills Aimed At Curbing State's Opioid Crisis

Nov 1, 2017

Credit CCO Creative Commons

A panel of bipartisan lawmakers in Colorado are proposing a package of bills aimed at curbing the state’s opioid crisis.

As The Denver Post reports, the panel is proposing limits on some prescriptions and more money for treatment and prevention programs in legislation that represents the state’s most extensive response to a dramatic increase  in drug overdose deaths in recent years.

The rate of drug overdose deaths in Colorado since 2000 has more than doubled. And, according to state health officials, that rate has tripled in just the past five years. Fatal overdoses related to heroin – also an opioid – increased nearly five times in that same period.

Included in the legislation approved by lawmakers is a provision that would impose a seven-day limit on some opioid prescriptions except in cases in which more is deemed necessary by a doctor, as well as a provision that would seek a federal waiver to allow the Medicaid program to cover residential rehabilitation for opioid addiction.

The measures will be introduced when the General Assembly returns in January.