FRUITA– Opioid prescriptions are seeing a dramatic decrease at Colorado Canyons Hospital.

The hospital is part of the Colorado ALTO Project, which involves a statewide network of hospitals with policies in place to reduce opioid use in their emergency rooms. “ALTO” stands for “alternative to opiods”.

Common cases of pain seen in emergency rooms include fractures, migraines, and lower back pain.

According to medical personnel at Colorado Canyons, some opioid alternatives for pain are nitrous oxide, anti-inflammatory medication, ketamine, or simple treatment like ice packs and stabilization of an injury.

In August alone, Colorado Canyons offered 60 percent of emergency room patients opioid alternatives first for their pain. It’s an initiative patient and medical professionals have gotten behind.