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Fentanyl Analysis Plan Development

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Project Summary

House Bill 22-1326 (Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention) contains a number of measures to address synthetic opiates, including changing the criminal penalties associated with synthetic opiates; using a substance abuse assessment to direct appropriate treatment at sentencing; providing opiate antagonists and synthetic opiate detection tests; providing treatment for persons in the criminal justice system; developing a fentanyl prevention and education campaign; and providing funding for substance use and harm reduction. Part 14 of the bill calls for an independent study to examine the implementation and impact of the bill.

The Colorado Lab aimed to lay a strong foundation for the independent study of HB 22-1326 by developing an analysis plan to examine the implementation and short‐term outcomes of some of the bill’s key provisions. The plan was grounded in background research and a robust stakeholder engagement process. 

The Analysis Plan was published in July 2023.

Summary of Findings

Using a literature review, stakeholder interviews, and an assessment of potential data sources, the Colorado Lab identified three focus areas for the study: 

  1. Acute response that addresses underlying needs and is part of a comprehensive system
  2. Increased criminal penalties for the possession of fentanyl
  3. Public health and harm reduction approaches for priority populations

Within each of these areas, the analysis plan identifies strategies to employ a mixed methods approach, obtains perspectives from stakeholders with lived experience who are directly impacted by changes made in the bill, and identifies and elevates promising models and approaches.


The analysis plan lays the foundation for a study that can inform policy decision makers and policy influencers, support the development of shared language and frameworks, and support stakeholders in identifying opportunities to work collaboratively, applying a multi-systems approach.

Get Involved

For more information about working with the Colorado Lab, see Government and Community Partnerships or Research Partnerships.