By Mallory Anderson for KRDO
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – The monetary cost of Colorado’s fentanyl crisis has increased by 750 percent in just five years, according to an analysis by Common Sense Institute (CSI). On Monday, Colorado business leaders and law enforcement discussed how the deadly drug is leaving behind a paper trail in the billions.
Fentanyl is costing thousands of Coloradans their lives, and the loss of these people is leaving a huge hole in their families, workplaces, and communities as a whole.
Healthcare costs, loss of productivity, the value of statistical life lost: all equalling $11.1 billion in 2021. CSI says that’s almost triple the amount of $4.4 billion in 2019.
Since passing legislation to change possession back to a felony could take a while, the Colorado Chamber says businesses can educate their workforce to make an impact on the crisis right now.
“I think the more education that we can provide to the workforce on the deadly effects of fentanyl, the better,” said Loren Furman, President and CEO of the Colorado Chamber. “That’s where I see some real opportunities for employers to make this issue relevant to their employees that are maybe not as educated about it as they should be.”