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More than a billion prescription opioid pills streamed into Colorado amid national crisis

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 18:18:34-04

DENVER – As the opioid epidemic arrived in Colorado, 1,022,073,725 prescription pain pills flowed through the state during a seven-year period, according to new federal data.

The pills hit Alamosa County the hardest. More than 9.4 million oxycodone and hydrocodone pills were distributed there between 2006 and 2012 — or enough for 88 pills per person per year.

The data, provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and made public this month by The Washington Post and HD Media, provide a new comprehensive look at an opioid crisis that has roiled communities across the nation.

The data, which follows the path of each pill — from manufacturer to distributor to pharmacy — sold in the United States, adds new context to the life cycle of the opioid crisis, said Robert Valuck, executive director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.

“It helps us understand everybody who is involved in some way,” he said, noting that state and local officials have filed lawsuits against some of those accused of playing a role in the rise of the opioid crisis.

Read the full story in The Denver Post.