Opioid Crisis in the U.S.
The United States is experiencing an opioid crisis. The number of deaths by opioids has quadrupled since 1999. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S.
Opioids in Colorado
Colorado’s rate of fatal drug overdose increased 68% from 2002 – 2014. The Colorado rate is higher than the national average. The rate of babies being exposed to opioids during pregnancy in Colorado increased 80% between 2010 and 2015. The number of people treated for heroin misuse has increased 128% between 2011 and 2015.
Opioids in Boulder County
Opioid and Heroin Overdose Deaths in Boulder County
Boulder County has seen an increase in opioid deaths in recent years. Unintentional poisoning deaths surpassed motor vehicle deaths in 2005. Between 2010 – 2014 there were a total of 104 opioid-related deaths in Boulder County (73 from prescription opioids and 31 from heroin).
Since 1989, Boulder County Public Health has operated The Works Program, a syringe access program aimed at reducing transmission of blood-borne pathogens (namely HIV and Hepatitis C) among people who inject drugs. Between 2010 and 2016, The Works Program saw an 800% increase in the number of clients participating in the program.
The Boulder County Opioid Advisory Group
Formed under a primary prevention substance abuse collaborative known as the Healthy Futures Coalition, the Opioid Advisory Group is specifically working toward decreasing opioid initiation, promoting harm reduction, and supporting affected individuals into treatment and recovery.
Additional Data on Opioid Impact in Boulder County