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Colorado Edition: Winter fire conditions; anti-stigma campaign for opioid addiction treatment

Stephanie Daniel

The Marshall Fire that erupted in Boulder County on Thursday quickly became the most destructive in state history. The 6,200-acre fire forced more than 30,000 people to flee their homes. Officials estimate nearly 1,000 structures were destroyed. It was a rare occurrence for December in Colorado, but many experts say similar events will become more common, fueled by extreme climate conditions. We talked with Russ Schumacher, Colorado’s state climatologist and director of the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University, about how those conditions set the stage for fire.

More than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses from April 2020 to the same time in 2021. That’s the most ever recorded over a 12-month period, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And preliminary data in December showed that the number of overdose deaths in Colorado in 2021 was on track to break last year's record for those who lost their lives to opioids like prescription pain pills, heroin and fentanyl. The state launched an anti-stigma campaign in 2018 called Lift the Label, encouraging those abusing opioids to seek treatment — but it primarily reached one group. We listened back to reporting from KUNC’s Stephanie Daniel on how it’s been refocused to reach a more diverse audience.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and edited by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). KUNC news director Brian Larson is our executive producer. Web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai.

The mission of Colorado Edition is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It's available as a podcast on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can hear the show on KUNC, Monday through Friday at 2:30 and at 6:30 p.m.
Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily look at the stories, news, people and issues important to you. It's a window to the communities along the Colorado Rocky Mountains.