Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Obama's drug czar unveils plan to attack prescription-drug abuse - The Denver Post

Obama's drug czar unveils plan to attack prescription-drug abuse - The Denver Post

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Tuesday unveiled a plan to fight prescription-drug abuse, warning that accidental fatal overdoses now exceed the combined deadly overdoses from the crack epidemic of the 1980s and black tar heroin in the 1970s.

The initiative to combat the nation's fastest-growing drug problem includes boosting awareness of the dangers of prescription-drug abuse among patients and health care providers, cracking down on "pill mills" and "doctor shopping," and requiring drug manufacturers to develop education programs for doctors and patients.

"Too many Americans are still not aware of the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs and how dangerous they can be," said Gil Kerlikowske, the White House director of national drug-control policy.

Accidental drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in 17 states, Kerlikowske said. There are seven a day in Florida, one of the epicenters of the epidemic and the source of much of the drugs. The plan calls on every state to develop a prescription-drug- monitoring program and encourages them to share the information with other states. Thirty-five states have such programs in place, Kerlikow - ske said.

The initiative recommends convenient ways to remove and dispose of unused and expired medication from the home. Kerlikowske noted that seven out of 10 prescription- drug abusers obtained their drugs from friends or relatives. A national "take-back" effort in September netted more than 121 tons of prescription drugs in a day, he said. Another take-back day is scheduled for April 30, Drug Enforcement Administration head Michele M. Leonhart said.

The plan also calls for the drug control policy office and the DEA to step up enforcement by targeting training to states with the highest need. Law enforcement agencies and the lawmakers who represent them have long complained that clinics where pain medication often is dispensed without prescriptions, or "pill mills," contribute heavily to the prescription-drug epidemic.

Read more: Obama's drug czar unveils plan to attack prescription-drug abuse - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_17886372#ixzz1K5DoXywc
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