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Congressman Scott Tipton

Representing the 3rd District of Colorado

Tipton’s Bill to Prevent Prescribed Opioid Abuse Passes House

June 12, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) supported twenty-five pieces of legislation that will help combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. Included in this series of bills was the Alternatives to Opioids in the Emergency Department (ALTO) Act (H.R. 5197), which Tipton helped introduce earlier this year.

“Opioid addiction is a multifaceted issue, but too often we hear stories of addiction beginning in the last place we would expect it to: a doctor’s office or hospital emergency room,” said Tipton. “The ALTO Act would give hospitals resources to promote non-opioid pain treatments in emergency rooms, helping to ensure people who do not need opioids are never exposed to them in the first place.”

H.R. 5197 would establish a national demonstration program to test alternative pain management protocols to limit the use of opioids in hospital emergency departments. It would also provide grant funding to implement these programs.

Colorado has the 12th highest rate of abuse of prescription opioids in the nation. In response to the overwhelming number of people who have become addicted through prescribed opioids, the Colorado Hospital Association in collaboration with the American College of Emergency Physicians, launched a pilot program in 10 hospital emergency departments across Colorado, with the goal of reducing the distribution of prescribed opioids by 15 percent over a six-month period of time. The program achieved a 36 percent reduction of prescribed opioids across the ten participating facilities.  H.R. 5197 would allow similar programs to be tested across the nation. 

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