Skaggs School of Pharmacy

A national cooperative bank is the latest group to join Colorado's effort to curb opioid abuse.

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More Coloradans can now protect themselves against the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted disease.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently expanded the use of an HPV vaccine, called Gardasil 9, to men and women ages 9 to 45. The drug, which is a vaccination for HPV, was not given to people over 26 in the past.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Lucille is 64 and has chronic back pain because of a genetic condition. She takes two extended release morphine tablets and three to four hydrocodone pills every day. Lucille, who asked us to use an alias to maintain her privacy, is prescribed a 30-day dose of each.

"My husband and I kayak, we snowshoe, we hike regularly, we walk," she said. "I can cook again. So, I have my life back."

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U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams recently issued a national advisory urging Americans to carry the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone. Since 1999, Colorado has seen a 400 percent increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths.

KUNC’s Stephanie Daniel spoke with Robert Valuck, director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and a professor of pharmacy at the University of Colorado at Denver, about the recommendation.

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Federal regulations require that emergency contraception -- such as the brand Plan B -- be available over the counter. But in Colorado, women may still experience barriers when obtaining it. A team of researchers found the drug was fully accessible at less than a quarter of the pharmacies surveyed in the state.