Fall 2018
The Colorado State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) is a network of state agencies and data experts brought together to examine the patterns, context, and impact of substance use. The Colorado SEOW is associated with the Attorney General’s Office as the data committee for the Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force. This unique relationship allows the SEOW to provide key leaders and legislators with information on substance use trends and to help inform the allocation of resources.

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The Colorado SEOW aims to have a data presentation at each monthly meeting. Presentations provide members an opportunity to learn about new data sources and data products, offer presenters a chance to receive feedback and answer questions from a group of data experts, and allow for a larger conversation on substance use trends in our state.  Please see the "Upcoming Meetings" section below for more information on upcoming presenters.  If you are interested in presenting, please contact us.

The Steering Committee meets monthly prior to each SEOW meeting to create the agenda.  Additionally, the group has focused on updating the SEOW’s strategic plan, logic model, and timeline.  If you are interested in participating in Steering Committee meetings, please contact Sharon Liu.

The SEOW has three workgroups, including the Alcohol Policy Workgroup, the Data Workgroup, and the Sustainability Workgroup. A fourth workgroup, the Training Workgroup is forming to address data access and usage needs identified by local public health departments.  If you are interested in participating in the Training Workgroup, please contact us for more information.

The Alcohol Policy Workgroup is a subcommittee of the larger SEOW and was formed to research evidence-based policies to reduce excessive drinking. The group is currently diving deeper into one of the policy areas, alcohol outlet density (AOD).  The group is working with an external technical assistance provider, Change Lab Solutions, to understand the regulatory landscape for AOD in Colorado and develop resources for community-level prevention professionals interested in pursuing alcohol policy change locally. 

The Data Workgroup (DWG) is another subcommittee of the larger SEOW.  It previously conducted a data-use needs assessment with organizations involved in substance abuse prevention and treatment across Colorado to better understand current data usage, access, challenges, and useful resources or products the SEOW could provide.  Results have informed the development of the Training Workgroup mentioned earlier.  The DWG also helped develop and review state epidemiological profiles focused on demographics, alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs.  The profiles are under review with the goal of releasing them before the end of the year.

The Sustainability Workgroup will continue to develop a sustainability plan in the current fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2018 - Sept. 30, 2019).   
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Ways To
Get Involved

The SEOW meets monthly on the third Thursday from 9-11 a.m.  Future dates and presenters are:

  • Dec. 20, 2018 - CANCELLED
  • Jan. 17, 2019 - Amber McDonald,Colorado Association for School-based Health Care, Trauma-informed Programming and Data Collection Efforts to Date
  • Feb. 21, 2019 - Elyse Contreras, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Monitoring Health Concerns Related to Marijuana in Colorado: 2018
  • March 21, 2019 - TBD

For more information on meeting locations and remote access, view details on the meetings calendar located on the Colorado SEOW website.

Interested in contributing your perspective and expertise to further impact substance use efforts?

  • Attend an upcoming monthly meeting in person or virtually
  • Present data or data products at a monthly meeting
  • Share our newsletter with others in your network
  • Become an SEOW member by contacting Sharon Liu

New US survey shows some progress against opioid crisis
The Associated Press Health & Science Department
September 14, 2018
"Figures from a U.S. government
survey released Friday show some progress in the fight against the ongoing opioid addiction crisis with fewer people in 2017 using heroin for the first time compared to the previous year.  
The number of new users of heroin decreased from 170,000 in 2016 to 81,000 in 2017, a one-year drop that would need to be sustained for years to reduce the number of fatal overdoses, experts said."

For the full article, click here.

New Report Released on Excessive Alcohol Use and Suicide in Colorado
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Excessive alcohol use is a risk factor for many harmful health conditions in our communities, such as injuries, violence, including suicide, and mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released a new data report detailing how excessive alcohol use connects with suicide in Colorado. It is important to note that many factors contribute to suicide, such as substance use, depression, and intimate partner problems. Suicide prevention requires a comprehensive approach to adequately address multiple risk factors. However, it is clear that reducing excessive drinking could also reduce suicide deaths in Colorado.

The new CDPHE Health Watch report summarizes Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC) among suicide decedents between 2011-2015. Key findings include that almost 1 in 3 suicide decendents (29.3%) had a BAC 0.08 g/dL at the time of death. Among those who had a a BAC 0.08 g/dL, almost 2 in 3 (61.4%) had a problem with alcohol, and more than half were depressed (56.8%), used a firearm as a method of suicide (53.1%), and were having intimate partner problems (50.6%). When compared to suicide decedents with a a BAC < 0.08 g/dL, suicide decedents with a BAC 0.08 g/dL were more likely to be male, working age adults (ages 21-54) and Hispanic or American Indian/Alaskan Native.

For the full report, click here.

For more informaiton on how to prevent excessive alcohol use, please click here.

Depression in Denver: Through the Lifespan
Denver Public Health
A comprehensive and collaborative approach to addressing depression is essential to the well-being of Denver residents and the success of our city. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, as well as one of the leading causes of illness, disability, and premature death in the United States. In addition to its impact on individual health, depression has significant implications for the well-being of families and communities.

The causes of depression are complex. Its development and trajectory are related to biological, medical, and genetic factors, as well as a person’s social, economic, and environmental circumstances. As a result, depression is deeply associated with social inequities, and although depression can affect any person at any time in their lives, its impact is disproportionately felt by specific groups of people. As such, Denver must develop strategies to address depression within all of our communities to promote the health of all people in Denver.

This report brings together findings from both well-established and novel data sources to support a localized understanding of the scope and impact of depression. Such understanding is needed to drive actions among various stakeholder groups that can effectively mitigate the burden of depression in Denver.

For the full report, click here.

Impacts of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado
A Report Pursuant to Senate Bill 13-283, October 2018
The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, Office of Research and Statistics released Impacts on Marijuana Legalization in Colorado, a report that compiles and analyzes data on marijuana-related topics including crime, impaired driving, hospitalizations and ER visits, usage rates, effects on youth, and more. The data in the report was collected and provided by various local, state and national sources, and thus some of the data has previously been released or reported on by other safety agencies.This report is unique in that it seeks to present a comprehensive analysis of as many data points as possible in order to provide an accurate and unbiased resource to policy makers and the public.

For the full report, click here.

Additional Reports and Data Links

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