The creation of this Dashboard was supported by a grant awarded by the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.
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Acetone rinse: Acetone is a clear solvent that some individuals use to wash out impurities from meth.
Analgesic: A drug acting to relieve pain.
Anti-convulsant: A drug or substance used to prevent or stop seizures or convulsions.
Antihistamine: A drug that relieves allergy symptoms.
Benzodiazepines: sometimes called “benzos” are drugs used to sedate or calm a person. Common benzodiazepines include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin), among others.
Cannabis: Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant.
Cannabinoids: A type of chemical in marijuana that causes drug-like effects all through the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system.
Death rate: ratio of deaths to the population of a particular area or during a particular period of time, usually calculated as the number of deaths per one hundred thousand people per year .
Depressants: A drug that lowers or reduces arousal or stimulation, in various areas of the brain. Depressants are also referred to as downers as they lower the level of arousal when taken.
Fentanyl: A synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients.
Fentanyl test strips: Fentanyl test strips can identify the presence of fentanyl in unregulated drugs. They can be used to test injectable drugs, powders, and pills.
Good Samaritan Laws: protects people from legal liability if they act in an emergency situation to give aid to a person who is injured. The law is intended to encourage people to offer emergency aid without being worried about being sued.
Harm Reduction: set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use
High dose opioid prescriptions: prescription of high dose opioids, typically defined as equivalent daily doses (MEDD) of 90 or more milligrams.
Methamphetamines/Amphetamines: stimulant drug that is chemically similar to amphetamine (a drug used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy). People can take methamphetamine by smoking, swallowing, snorting, or injecting the drug.
Narcan/Naloxone: potentially lifesaving medication designed to rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Opioid analgesics: work by changing the brain’s perception of pain. An opioid can be any drug, natural or manmade.
Polydrug: when a person uses multiple drugs for recreational purposes. An individual who engages in polydrug use may use illegal drugs, legal drugs, or a mix of the two
Psychoactive substances: A drug or other substance that affects how the brain works and causes changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, or behavior. Examples of psychoactive substances include alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, marijuana, and certain pain medicines.
Sedative: A drug taken for its calming or sleep-inducing effect.
Stimulants: A class of drugs that speed up messages traveling between the brain and body. They can make a person feel more awake, alert, confident or energetic and include caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines and cocaine.
Synthetic opioids: Synthetic opioids are substances that are synthesized in a laboratory and that act on the same targets in the brain as natural opioids (e.g., morphine and codeine) to produce analgesic (pain relief) effects.
Tobacco-use complicating pregnancy: Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of health problems for developing babies, including preterm birth, low birth weight, and birth defects of the mouth and lip. Smoking during and after pregnancy also increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
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This effort has included collaboration and guidance from an Executive Committee with memberships from:
Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment
Pueblo County Department of Human Services
Pueblo Police Department
Pueblo Fire Department
10th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
Parkview Medical Center
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center
Crossroads’ Turning Points
Pueblo Community Health Center
Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office
Pueblo Community Corrections
American Medical Response
- Quick Response Team (QRT) – The QRT was developed through public health partnerships with the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Re-Entry and the Directing Other’s to Service (DOTS) program through the Pueblo Fire Department. This team is composed of firefighters and a peer navigator. The QRT responds to individuals who have recently experienced an overdose to provide assistance and connection to community resources and wraparound services.
- Community Resource Peer Program – Grant funding has allowed the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Re-Entry office to host a Peer who supports the QRT as well as a continuity of treatment program serving individuals who are impacted by substance use ensuring support and connection to resources. The continuity of treatment serves individuals who are involved with the criminal justice system, and also serves as a community wide peer resource. Because no specific provider or agency affiliation is required to access the peer services, this program provides a starting point for anyone who may need assistance.
- Support for the Pueblo Rescue Mission – Grant funding has been provided to the Pueblo Rescue Mission to support data collection concerning individuals facing housing insecurity - who are also impacted by substance use - and connecting these individuals to resources.
Data allows agencies and partners to recognize changes in trends, identify new or emerging drug threats, and demonstrate the positive impacts of existing programs. Examples of how data influenced substance use programmatic or policy changes in Pueblo County:
Fentanyl Strip Testing
- When fentanyl entered the illicit drug supply in large quantities, it resulted in higher overdose deaths. Syringe exchange programs provided their participants with fentanyl test strips and they used data from tests of the drug supply to alert substance users to the presence of fentanyl. Testing data allowed individuals to make conscious choices about changing habits when fentanyl was present in the drug supply.
- Data showed a significant number of non-violent, drug-related arrests being made in Pueblo County. Based on this data, the County applied for and received Office of Behavioral Health funds to start the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD®) program. LEAD® is a pre-booking diversion program that aims to improve public health and to end the cycle of recidivism. Instead of being charged and booked following an arrest, the arresting officer identifies the arrestee as a potential participant for the diversion program and subsequently connects them with the case manager.
- Over ten years ago, Colorado was rated as the second worst in the nation for prescription drug misuse. When data showed the impact of prescription drug misuse, former Governor John Hickenlooper released the Colorado Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse. The plan recommended educational and medical opportunities to address prescription drug misuse, and initiated Colorado’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to track controlled substances in the state for prescribers and dispensers.
This data dashboard will continue to inform community partners in tracking and monitoring existing and emerging drug threats. The data can also be used to improve systems and inform policy-related decisions to prevent future drug threats.