What is the Colorado Naloxone Project?
Why Naloxone? The Antidote, Episode 1
Naloxone Saves Lives
The Colorado Naloxone Project is one of the most ambitious efforts in the nation to address the opioid overdose crisis and improve quality of care. Our goal is for all Colorado hospitals and emergency departments to distribute naloxone to at-risk patients, placing naloxone in patients’ hands prior to their departure from the hospital.
What is Naloxone?
In 2020, there were an estimated 93,331 drug overdose deaths in the United States, an increase of 29.4% from 2019. – CDC
1,477 Coloradans died from an overdose in 2020, an increase of 38% from 2019. This is the most deaths from overdose ever recorded in Colorado. Out of all prescription opioid deaths, 68% involved fentanyl. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of overdose deaths involving fentanyl more than doubled. – CHI
Colorado has been a leader in naloxone distribution through its early adoption of naloxone standing orders, Good Samaritan laws, and the use of naloxone by law enforcement. The Colorado Naloxone Project is committed to making Colorado the first state in the nation in which every hospital consistently identifies patients at risk of opioid overdose and sends them home with naloxone in hand. Many hospitals have a process in place to send written naloxone prescriptions home with at-risk patients or inform them of the over-the-counter availability of the medication, but research suggests that naloxone prescriptions are unlikely to be filled. While naloxone prescriptions are on the rise and high-dose opioid prescriptions are declining, too many are still dying of opioid overdoses. The Colorado Naloxone Project is working to address this gap and ensure that this life-saving medication is in the hands of every Coloradoan at risk for an opioid overdose.