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Colorado Collaborates With the Federal Government to Counter Prescription Drug Abuse

Blair Hubbard, one of the recovering heroin addicts in Denver, Colorado, recounted the genesis of her addiction. In an interview by The Durango Herald, Ms. Hubbard explained the struggles she had to contend with in her effort to get “stoned” or “high”. She explained how her addiction journey started from overdependence on prescription pain medication. Ms. Hubbard admitted that she took more pills that she was advised by her physician. She realized that her over use left her with pleasurable feelings. Little did she know that this habit would see her graduate from prescription drugs to the use of heroin. She soon discovered that the pills were too expensive and they were not easy to obtain without a prescription. In order to sustain her new found habit, Ms. Hubbard chose to experiment with heroin, which she later found to be cheaper, readily available and stronger than the prescription pain pills.

While attending an event with Gov. John Hickenlooper and the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, the recovering addict expressed optimism that other addicts would learn from her experience and get out of this life-trashing ordeal. She confirmed that addiction is real and stated the fact that society as a whole doesn't realize how bad this problem really is.

Both the Secretary and the Governor held a roundtable discussion prior to their joint press conference in which they voiced their support for the institution of measures to counter the overuse of prescription drugs in the State and across the nation. The Secretary admitted that the runaway problem that is tied to heroin addiction is indicative of the fact that the federal government has failed in its duty to curtail this challenge due of sufficient capacity. She further drew a link between the overuse and over dependence of prescription drugs and their connection to the use of heroin.

Further, the Secretary admitted that much of the burden is on the federal government which is expected to collaborate with the States in reducing the use of addicting pills and medications. She reported that her office is focusing on three focal areas that include reducing prescriptions, increasing access to Naloxone - a drug that is used to deal with overdose medical emergencies - and ensuring that medicated treatment is made available to recovering addicts.

Granted, Colorado has a lot to do in regards with dealing with over prescription of addicting drugs. The state is trying its best to streamline the manner in which it monitors and tracks prescriptions. Different states have signed bilateral and multilateral agreements on how to deal with this menace across their jurisdictions. Good news though, Colorado and the nation as a whole have made great efforts in the last few years by instituting planning and partnerships aimed at dealing with the issue of addicting prescription medications.

As a State, Colorado has instituted an ambitious plan which aims at reducing prescription drug abuse among the 92,000 Coloradans by 2016. Colorado hopes that the implementation of this plan will effectively cut down the addiction and misuse rate by 40 percent. So far, the state has recorded a reduction in the addiction rate by 16 percent which is a good start.

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