Tuesday, March 3, 2015

CDPHE's Retail Marijuana Education Program Report

CDPHE’s Retail Marijuana Education Program released its first progress report to the Colorado General Assembly on the retail marijuana education campaigns.

The report addresses CDPHE's progress in the following areas:
  • implementing statewide education and public awareness campaigns (including the GoodToKnowColorado.com campaign), 
  • targeting high risk groups with prevention messages,
  • creating educational resources for the public and target audience groups,
  • aligning messages across state and local agencies, 
  • evaluating the effectiveness of campaign and other program efforts, and
  • defining next steps for the program and campaign efforts.

CDPHE contracted with the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH) to evaluate any link between the reach of the campaign and subsequent changes in the knowledge of marijuana laws, awareness of the health effects, perceptions of risk and prevention behaviors among a sample of Colorado residents. A baseline assessment was completed prior to the campaign launch in January. After the campaign is fully launched across the state and a post-assessment survey is conducted this summer, CSPH will analyze any changes over time. Results of this analysis will be published in the legislative report due November 1, 2015.

Public Health in the Rockies 2015 - Call for Abstracts OPEN

Elevate: Reaching New Heights in Public Health
September 16-18, 2015 | Vail, Colorado

The Call for Abstracts is now OPEN for the 2015 Public Health in the Rockies Conference, the largest public health conference in the region.

Submit an abstract by April 18, 2014 to be considered for this Conference.

You can download abstract submission instructions prior to submitting. In addition, you will be able to stop and re-start an abstract submission at a later date. Click "Save Answers and Resume Later" at the bottom of the form to get a re-start link.

About the Conference:
The 2015 Public Health in the Rockies conference continues the conversations of last year by highlighting work focusing on our goal of improving health for all. Health inequities persist due to systematic policies and practices that create barriers and obstacles to achieving equal health status for populations. These are preventable barriers and obstacles. In order to improve health equity, we must not only increase awareness, we must actively address health inequities in our everyday work.

New MJ Resources for Health Care Providers and Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women

With research still needed about the impacts of marijuana use, health care providers can expect questions from patients about safe use for medical and recreational marijuana.

CDPHE released the Marijuana Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Clinical Guidance Document for Colorado Health Care Providers in March, 2015. This document provides evidence-based guidance for Colorado health care providers to talk with patients about marijuana exposure during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It was developed using the information from the systematic literature review conducted by the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee. Content was developed by a committee of experts with additional input from health care provider focus groups. The final guidance document was tested at several health care facilities in Colorado.

Also available is the Marijuana and Your Baby factsheet. It contains information for patients about the risks of marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, including health effects, legal issues, safety and available resources. This factsheet is written at a middle school reading level and will be translated into Spanish soon. The factsheet has space on the back for local agencies to place their logo and contact information, if desired.

Monday, March 2, 2015

"Good to Know Colorado" Retail Marijuana Campaign Expands

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment launched statewide television advertising for its Good to Know retail marijuana education campaign. The campaign focuses on retail marijuana laws and health effects, including the ban on public use, age restrictions, DUI laws, dangers of overuse, safe storage and other concerns related to marijuana and marijuana-infused products.

Since the radio and social media launch in early January, the campaign has generated 35 million impressions through radio, print, and digital advertising. This resulted in 220 news stories, 41,500 visits to GoodToKnowColorado.com and engaged more than 7,000 social media users. Good to Know television ads, running through March 22, continue the neighborly approach aimed at educating users and nonusers alike.

“It is our obligation to spread reliable information on the safe and responsible use of marijuana to every corner of Colorado,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, health department executive director and chief medical officer. “Whether they use marijuana or not, all Coloradans will benefit from knowing more about the laws and potential health effects.”

The health department recently released “Monitoring Health Concerns Related to Marijuana,” an extensive review of available research on the health effects of marijuana. Wolk said this report and the department’s continued research into marijuana health effects through the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee will guide strategy and messages for the 18-month education campaign.

In addition to its media campaign, the health department has initiated communication with community members, marijuana store owners and consumers on safe and responsible marijuana use. Health department experts are providing local public health agencies with training and resources. Point-of-sale materials will be distributed to marijuana store owners in March to encourage them to share information and to communicate with customers about marijuana laws, safe storage and the safe consumption of edible marijuana. Messages for youth, and pregnant and breastfeeding women will launch throughout the year.

Colorado.gov/marijuana will continue to serve as the state portal for marijuana information from various state agencies and is separate from the Good to Know campaign.

The Good to Know educational campaign is a part of the $5.7 million in state marijuana sales tax revenue the state health department received to conduct research and evaluation, develop media campaigns and engage the community. Approximately $4 million will be spent on educational marketing campaigns. The remaining funds are for public health trend data, evaluation of education efforts, materials development, operating expenses and training and resource dissemination.

Hickenlooper Announces Campaign To Reduce Rx Drug Abuse

This week Governor John Hickenlooper announced a new campaign seeking to reduce prescription drug abuse and misuse in Colorado.
In partnership with the University of Colorado the state has launched its “Take Meds Seriously” campaign.

Robert Valuck, a professor of pharmacy at CU, is part of a statewide consortium created by the governor to address prescription drug abuse in Colorado.

"We say safe use, safe storage [and] safe disposal," Valuck says ."And that’s what our public awareness campaign is all about."

Valuck calls prescription drug abuse a serious public health problem.

"Every year in the neighborhood of 300 Coloradans die from prescription painkiller overdoses," he says.

For more information on the campaign visit takemedsseriously.org.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Facebook Will Now Reach Out To Users Who Their Friends Think Are Suicidal

From:  BuzzFeed News

Facebook will then give them the option to contact the friend, contact another friend for support, or contact a suicide hotline.

The social network teamed up with a number of suicide prevention organizations and research centers in hopes of helping people online prevent their friends from committing suicide.

These organizations include National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Now Matters Now, Save.org, and Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention from the School of Social Work at Washington University.

Facebook has a special team who will look at reported posts and, if they deem it necessary, contact the person who posted it with this pop-up:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Inappropriate Prescribing and Use of Prescription Painkillers: Injury Center News

Two new CDC studies suggest a type of prescription painkiller called opioids are more often inappropriately prescribed and used among Medicaid patients than among those with private insurance and that use of stronger opioid painkillers may be on the rise. The studies were published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Under-served and through CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Why This is Important

Prescription opioid painkillers are used to treat pain from surgery, injury, and health conditions such as cancer. Inappropriate prescribing and use of these painkillers is linked to dangerous health outcomes such as abuse, overdose, and death.

What States and Organizations Can Do
  • Use Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
  • Identify and stop health care providers who over-prescribe opioid painkillers
  • Implement best practice prescribing guidelines
  • Maximize the state's role as a public insurer