GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — Today, Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) and its partners released six specialty specific opioid prescribing guidelines in their latest effort to combat the opioid epidemic from within hospitals. These guidelines are the product of the two-year Colorado’s Opioid Solution: Clinicians United to Resolve the Epidemic (CO’s CURE) initiative, which is co-sponsored by the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.

“We could not be prouder of these prescribing guidelines,” said Darlene Tad-y, MD, CHA vice president of clinical affairs and practicing hospitalist at University of Colorado Hospital. “CO’s CURE represents a new and innovative partnership between providers of many different specialties and hospitals across the state – one that we believe will improve care in the many locations where we treat patients.”

These clinical guidelines were developed in partnership with their corresponding specialty societies and represent one of the largest coordinated efforts to reduce opioid prescribing in the nation. These societies include:

  • The Colorado Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians
  • The Colorado Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and Colorado Society of Anesthesiology
  • The Colorado Dental Association
  • The Colorado Pharmacists Society
  • The Rocky Mountain Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Hospital Medicine

These guidelines are available on the CHA website here. CO’s CURE will also include guidelines developed by the Colorado Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which will be released in early 2021. Seven other specialty societies supported CO’s CURE through clinical subject matter expertise.

“We have emphasized that everyone has to work together in order to reverse the opioid epidemic,” said Colorado Medical Society President Sami Diab, MD. “The leadership demonstrated by this initiative and these specialty societies is a shining example of that collaboration. It is focused on patients and will help to guide quality, evidence-based treatment of pain moving forward.”

Each of these guidelines are tailored to the nuances of each specialty, but center around the same four pillars: limiting opioid use, using alternatives to opioids (ALTOs) for the treatment of pain, implementing harm reduction strategies and improving the treatment and referral of patients with Opioid Use Disorder.

“We are excited and inspired by the collaboration of so many medical specialty societies and organizations in Colorado to come together to reverse the opioid epidemic in a collaborative way, with a clear and shared vision,” said Robert Valuck, Executive Director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. “By focusing on the same four key pillars, the CO’s CURE guidelines will deliver cohesive action and improved pain management and outcomes for all Coloradans.”

CO’s CURE is built on the success of the Colorado ALTO Project and the 2017 Colorado Opioid Safety Pilot, a study of ALTOs conducted in 10 hospital emergency departments. This pilot resulted in an average 36% reduction in the administration of opioids and a 31.4% increase in the administration of ALTOs. In an effort to bring ALTO principles to other patient care settings, CHA piloted the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Hospital Medicine’s guidelines in 10 hospitals across the state. Again, the effort saw a reduction in opioid administrations and an increase in ALTOs.
The CO’s CURE initiative was made possible by State Opioid Response federal grant funding administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health.

About Colorado Hospital Association

Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted, credible and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends for its members, media, policymakers and the general public. Through CHA, Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared commitment to improve health and health care in Colorado. Learn more at

About Colorado Medical Society

The Colorado Medical Society champions health care issues that improve patient care, promote physician professional satisfaction and create healthier communities in Colorado. To learn more about CMS, visit

About Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

The Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention coordinates Colorado’s response to the crisis of misuse of prescription medications, such as opioids, stimulants, and sedatives. Since its inception in 2013, the Consortium has engaged stakeholders across various disciplines to help foster policies, programs, and partnerships to improve the quality of patient care in Colorado.