DENVER — As Colorado’s fentanyl liability and prevention bill continues to move through the legislative process, medical professionals and recovery advocates are encouraging people to do what they can now to fight against the opioid and fentanyl crises.
Jason Good of Fort Collins has been sober for 15 years after battling drug use in his early 20s. He started using cocaine while pursuing his undergrad in Miami, then switched to opioids after knee surgery.
“I had fairly minor surgery and was put on high dose hydrocodone and then put on oxycodone,” Good said.
After his “doctor shopping” was discovered by medical professionals, Good says he had to find new ways to get prescription drugs — and he did.
“I was rummaging through my parents’ medicine cabinet and found a totally unused bottle of Vicodin and I was like, ‘Here we go. I can just keep going.’ And it certainly helped me dive deeper into the land of opioid addiction,” he said.
Good says he began a downward spiral that took him to places filled with many dangers.
“I still don’t know how I made it out alive,” he said.
Now, he’s working in a leadership position at an addiction treatment center in Fort Collins and sharing his story in hopes of shedding light on the dangers of unused prescription drugs.
This Saturday, the Drug Enforcement Administration is partnering with law enforcement and healthcare facilities nationwide for its Prescription Drug Pickup Day. People are encouraged to drop off their unused medications at participating facilities so the medications can be properly disposed of.
Good encourages those he knows to participate.
“To leave them pretty much unused is to make them available for the taking,” he said. “It can be 100% a front door. I remember about six years ago when this thing called ‘drug parties’ was a thing among teenagers, where people grabbed bottles from their family medicine cabinets and put them in a bowl – and they have a party and take handfuls of pills and pop them in. People were dying, and people were really, really hurt.
CU Anschutz Medical Campus and CU Skaggs Faculty of Pharmacy will hold their recovery event at the campus’ Fitzsimmons Building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
“In fact, this is one of the most important things we can do to try to curb the opiate epidemic,” said Dr Robert Page, a professor in the University’s Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine. from Colorado.
Several locations across metro Denver will participate in Saturday’s event. To find a drop-off point near you, click here.