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Gov. Hickenlooper signs bill to combat opioid epidemic

DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law Thursday to help fight the opioid epidemic in Colorado.

The law creates a center for prevention, research and treatment to tackle the opioid and prescription drug abuse problem.

The center will be funded with $1 million from the marijuana tax cash fund and will be headquartered at the University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus.

“Prescriptive and illicit opioid abuse are significant public health concerns in Colorado,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“The governor’s support of this national compact underscores our Colorado priorities of improving the education about, treatment of and recovery from opioid addiction.”

In 2015, Hickenlooper launched the public awareness campaign “Take Meds Seriously” to address the epidemic of prescription drug abuse.