Robert J. Valuck, PhD, RPh
Director, Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Skaggs School of Pharmacy, University of Colorado
Time: Snacks provided. Feel free to bring a brownbag lunch.
Location: Education 2 South Building, Room 1307, Anschutz Medical Campus
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. The increase in unintentional drug overdose death rates in recent years has been driven by increased use of a class of prescription drugs called opioid analgesics. Since 2003, more overdose deaths have involved opioid analgesics than heroin and cocaine combined. In addition, for every unintentional overdose death related to an opioid analgesic, nine persons are admitted for substance abuse treatment, 35 visit emergency departments, 161 report drug abuse or dependence, and 461 report nonmedical uses of opioid analgesics. Implementing strategies to reduce this problem will require strong coordination and collaboration at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as engagement of parents, youth influencers, health care professionals, and policy makers.
In Colorado, the Governor’s Office has engaged a broad coalition of these constituent groups to create the Colorado Plan to Reduce Rx Abuse, a strategic plan designed to reduce the prevalence of non-medical use of prescription pain medications in Colorado by 3.5% (92,000 Coloradans) by 2016. Dr. Valuck, coordinating center director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse, will describe the evolution and implementation of the state’s approach to addressing this public health problem.