Battling the opioid epidemic: Help available at meeting Thursday night

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Officials warn the opioid epidemic is a growing public health issue in Colorado and nationwide.

Here are some numbers to consider:

  • Nearly 224,000 Coloradans misuse prescription pain relievers each year
  • One in six high school seniors in Colorado has taken prescription medicine that was not written for them
  • 35 people die each month in Colorado by accidentally overdosing on prescription medicine

Something else to consider: Teens say prescription drugs are “easier to get than beer” because they can take them from their friends’ and family’s medicine cabinets, according to the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.

Now officials with Arapahoe County are reaching out to the community to raise awareness of the pervasive problem which can go unnoticed, even by family and friends.

There is a town hall meeting scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Arapahoe County’s CentrePoint Plaza, at 14980 E. Alameda Drive in Aurora.

Staff from Arapahoe County, Tri-County Health Department, and Aurora Mental Health will be available to answer questions, help families address prescription drug abuse and share information about the resources available.