$1 million from marijuana tax cash fund establishes the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Anschutz Medical Campus

While the snow flew and politicians gathered at CU Anschutz Medical Campus, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 17-193 to fund the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences today.

The law, sponsored by State Senators Cheri Jahn and Kevin Lundberg and State Representatives Brittany Pettersen and Bob Rankin, creates a Center for prevention, research and treatment to tackle the opioid and prescription drug abuse problem with a $1 million appropriation from the marijuana tax cash fund.

The Center is built upon the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, a coordinated, statewide response to this major national public health concern established by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2013. The mission of the Consortium is to reduce the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs in Colorado through improvements in education, public outreach, research, safe disposal and treatment.  The Center will continue this work, and extend it over time to include other substance misuse issues including alcoholism and the abuse of other prescription drugs and illicit substances.

“Opioid abuse and addiction have reached epidemic proportions in the country and in this state. At any time, a large number of people in our communities are at risk for opioid addiction,” Governor John Hickenlooper said. “The Consortium serves as a backbone, providing infrastructure and coordination to link the many agencies, organizations, health professions, associations, task forces and programs that are currently addressing the prescription drug abuse problem.”

Headquartered at the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, it is coordinated by Consortium Director Robert Valuck, PhD.

“Over the past 30 years I have seen rates of opioid abuse, addiction and overdose death go from very rare to all too common,” Valuck, also a professor of pharmacy at the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy, said. “This law gives Coloradans an open and transparent organization and a collaborative approach to tackle this problem.”

At least 90 percent of the Center’s funding will go into prevention, education, and research to assist those suffering from substance abuse problems in Colorado.

 

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