Lundberg Proposal to Tackle Substance Abuse Approved by Senate

DENVER—Today, the Senate passed Senator Kevin Lundberg's (R-Larimer County) bill taking steps to treat and prevent substance abuse.

Senate Bill 17-193 creates the center for research into prevention  strategies for, and treatment of, abuse of and addiction to opioids, other controlled substances, and alcohol at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. 

In 2016, 442 Coloradans died from opioid related overdoses, 30 fewer than 2015. That number dwarfs the 56 homicide related fatalities in the same year.

However, narcotic and heroin related deaths jumped by 23 percent to 197 in Colorado, last year. 

"Reducing the negative effects of these dangerous drugs is at the forefront of all our minds as we continue to work on this dire public health crisis," said Lundberg. "Though fatalities related to prescription opioids are down, heroin deaths are up. We cannot take this small victory as a signal to focus our attentions elsewhere. Colorado families need help battling this dangerous enemy. Our multi-pronged approach should focus both on treatment as well as stemming the tide of prescription opioids and heroin in our communities."

Senate Bill 193 will be heard once more in the Senate before continuing on to the House for consideration.

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