Opioid Advisory Group

Opioid Advisory Group

Partnering to Address Opioid Use, Misuse, and Abuse

The Boulder County Opioid Advisory Group is a group of individuals and organizations dedicated to responding to the opioid epidemic in Boulder County.


Boulder County is a thriving and safe community of individuals with positive health outcomes.


Boulder County Opioid Advisory Group engages in shared leadership and collective action to advance a comprehensive response to opioid and other drug use and the harmful impacts on the community by prioritizing and removing barriers to proven prevention, treatment, and harm reduction strategies, mobilizing existing resources, and encouraging informed and healthy community attitudes.

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

Framework for the Boulder County Opioid Advisory Group

The Opioid Advisory Group is an inclusive group of individuals, organizations, and community members dedicated to preventing and responding to the opioid issue in Boulder County. Addressing opioids requires significant collaboration and social change across a broad cross-section of local participants. The Opioid Advisory Group is moving towards a collective impact approach in which participants agree to a common agenda, continuous communication, engaging in planning, and working toward creating a shared measurement system.

Boulder County Public Health serves as the backbone organization and provides dedicated staff to coordinate the initiative.

opioid advisory group framework

Happy volunteer family putting their hands together on a sunny day

Local Partners Leading Focus Areas

The Opioid Advisory Group (OAG) is an inclusive group of individuals, organizations and community members dedicated to preventing and responding to the opioid issue in Boulder County. Meetings are open for anyone to attend and participate and members continuously contribute to implementing strategies across varying areas of focus.

Partners have been identified in:

  • Prevention
  • Non-profit
  • Governmental agencies
  • Treatment and recovery
  • Law enforcement and criminal justice
  • Clinical and pharmacy professionals
  • Community organizations and community partners

A key focus is to elevate the voice of individuals directly affected including affected family, individuals in recovery, individuals in treatment, chronic pain patients and individuals currently using. An aim is to include these voices in the development of strategies.

The Opioid Advisory Group is continuing to work to identify strategies to strengthen systems and policies to meet its goals.

Opioid Advisory Group Partners


  • St. Vrain Valley Schools
  • Healthy Futures Coalition
  • Boulder Valley School District
  • Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)
  • Boulder County AIDS Project
  • Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention
  • Communities that Care
  • Amistad
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • iThrive
  • Boulder County Public Health
  • Boulder County Area Agency on Aging
  • Boulder County Resource Conservation
  • Boulder County Community Services

Clinical Partners

  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention
  • Salud Family Health Centers
  • Clinica Family Health
  • American Medical Response (AMR)
  • Boulder Community Health
  • Boulder County Medical Society

Treatment & Recovery

  • Behavioral Health Group
  • Collegiate Recovery Center at the University of Colorado
  • Mental Health Partners
  • Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow
  • The Family Recovery Solution
  • Denver Recovery Group
  • Options Treatment
  • Alkermes
  • Northstar Transitions
  • Bridge House

Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice

  • Boulder Police Department
  • Boulder County Sheriff
  • City of Longmont Public Safety
  • Boulder County Adult Integrated Treatment Court
  • Louisville Police
  • University of Colorado Police
  • Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
  • Nederland Police Department
  • Colorado Probation – 20th Judicial District
  • Boulder County Community Services
  • Boulder County Coroner
  • Erie Police Department
  • Boulder County District Attorney

Alignment with Statewide Partners

Boulder County Opioid Advisory Group partners closely with state partners including:

putting the puzzle togetherEarly Accomplishments

Boulder County will use a collective action framework to address the use, misuse and abuse of opioids, including prescription opioids, heroin and synthetic opioids.

The Opioid Advisory Group has had some early accomplishments that have occurred simultaneously with planning and capacity building.

  • In mid-January of 2017, the Opioid Advisory Group held a sold-out Continuing Medical Education prescriber diner in collaboration with the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse and the North Colorado Health Alliance on “Moving from What to How: Practical Tools for Safe & Effective Opioid Prescribing.” Over 104 providers attended.
  • In late January of 2017, 375 naloxone kits were distributed to eight Boulder County law enforcement agencies through the Attorney General’s Naloxone for Life Initiative.
  • In April 2017, Community Justice Services, with technical support from the District Attorney’s Office, Mental Health Partners, and Boulder County Public Health, applied for a grant for local level diversion efforts from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to utilize the sequential intercept model.
  • In May 2017, group members from law enforcement, harm reduction, and public health participated in a symposium to learn about the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program from national experts. Funding from the state legislature will support four programs in Colorado beginning in the fall or winter of 2017.

Preliminary Areas of Focus

The Opioid Advisory Group has identified several preliminary focus areas to address the opioid crisis in Boulder County.

The areas of focus include:

  • Primary Prevention
  • Public Awareness
  • Provider Education
  • Community Involvement
  • Harm Reduction
  • Business Sector
  • Criminal Justice Initiatives
  • Treatment Access
  • Recovery Support

Boulder County Opioid Advisory Group Roadmap

Opioid Advisory Group Meetings

The Opioid Advisory Group is a group of individuals, organizations, and community members who want to prevent and respond to the opioid crisis in Boulder County.

Upcoming Meetings

Wednesday, December 13, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
1333 Iris Ave, Boulder
Norton Rooms (East and West)

Meeting Records

Steering Committee Meeting Records

For more information, please contact Jamie Feld at 303-413-7530.

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Opioid Advisory Group

Main: 303-413-7500
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