KUSA — Some counties in Colorado are seeing success in the fight against drug overdose deaths.
"Adams County, Larimer County and Boulder County all saw peaks in earlier years. So for example, Larimer had 39 overdoses this year -- or in 2016 compared to 61 in 2013," said Jaclyn Zubrzycki, a communications specialist with CHI.
But in 2016, 912 people still died from overdoses from opioids, heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
In 2017, that number grew to 959.
"I don't want to overstate the good news, unfortunately, because in 2017 we did still see a big increase in overdose deaths," said Zubrzycki. "But around the state, a lot of people are paying attention to this issue."
She added, "I think that those counties are glimmers of hope this is a serious problem throughout the state, but there are places where people have taken steps to reduce drug overdose deaths in a variety of ways."
Some of those steps include medical providers being mindful about prescribing opioid medications, and police and community officials carrying Naloxone to help stop drug overdoses.
Zubrzycki hopes the data will help show those methods to combat the drug epidemic are successful, and could help other counties still struggling with the issue.
El Paso County had the most overdose deaths in 2016. Denver had the second highest numbers of fatal overdoses in that same time.
"Our hope is that people can look at this and both see places that need more attention, parts of rural Colorado, the I-25 corridor near Pueblo - this is a major challenge in those parts of the state," she said. "There are places that have seen improvements in recent years, so we hope too that maybe we can learn from places where there have been successes."