Colorado Springs – Both Colorado Springs mayoral candidates responded to four specific questions from Rise Above Colorado about how they would address the fentanyl epidemic, which claimed far more lives in the region in 2021 than homicides.
According to the El Paso County Coroner’s Office, fentanyl overdoses resulted in 99 deaths in 2021. In comparison, the county tallied a total of 61 deaths that year. Data from 2022 has not yet been released.
The mayoral candidate responses are shared at WhatIsOurPlanCS.org, a resource that also provides information on how we all can address fentanyl’s risks to our community.
Rise Above Colorado is promoting this online resource with digital ads, social media, and billboards in Colorado Springs. The ads highlight the widespread harm caused by fentanyl and ask: “What Is Our Plan?”
Rise Above Colorado is a statewide prevention organization that measurably impacts teen perceptions and attitudes about the risks of substance misuse to empower youth to make healthy connections, decisions, and change.
In response to the fentanyl epidemic that is driving overdose deaths among Coloradans of all ages, Rise Above Colorado is partnering with experts and organizations who share its goal of raising awareness of the issue to drive dialogue and preparedness among individuals and communities.
Partners on this project include Boys and Girls Clubs in Colorado, the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, 5280 High School, and OpiRescue, a free smartphone app that helps anyone recognize overdoses and reverse them with naloxone.
“Fentanyl has created a public health epidemic that directly or indirectly impacts everyone in the community,” said Kent MacLennan, executive director of Rise Above Colorado. “We all have a role to play in reducing its tragic death toll. Our goal is to give practical information that anyone can use to make a positive impact. By asking ‘What Is Our Plan?’, we want to prompt everyone to think about their role. We’re providing quality, practical information they can use to save lives at home, at school, or wherever is most relevant to them.”
Both candidates’ responses are presented an objective and even-handed way on the website. Rise Above Colorado will not comment on the specific responses or promote any candidate; the goal is simply to provide the information to Colorado Springs residents.