Division of Professions and Occupations: Drug Diversion Policy Initiative

The abuse of controlled substances is a serious health problem nationally and in Colorado. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), unintentional overdose deaths from prescription opioids quadrupled since 1999. Studies suggest an estimated one in 10 healthcare practitioners will develop a problem with controlled substances (the same rate experienced by the general population), raising concerns for patient safety.

In response to this statewide crisis, the Colorado Division of Professions and Occupations is undertaking policy and strategic initiatives to address drug diversion by healthcare professionals and protect consumers in Colorado’s healthcare system. 

Initiative Kicks-Off with Webinar

The Division is working with hospitals in the state to raise awareness and educate hospital employees about reporting suspicious behavior. We are encouraging early information sharing for cases involving licensed healthcare practitioners. The Division hosted an informative webinar in June that highlighted the following:

  • Overview of the regulatory boards and programs involved in the initiative;
  • Overview of enforcement process;
  • How employers, health care providers, and consumers can file a complaint; and
  • Current requirements and ongoing need for employer reporting;

More than 1400 people registered for the first webinar. The Division recognizes many were unable to join us. We hope the recording of the webinar and accompanying slides will be viewed at your convenience. 

Increased Efforts to Encourage Reporting

We also want to encourage law enforcement and employers to report any drug diversion investigations to the Division. This will help build partnerships that will increase consumer protection. Please feel free to post the flyers below to educate colleagues about how to participate in this important initiative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the Drug Diversion Policy Initiative

For additional questions or information, please contact: