Officials: Fentanyl is in Pueblo

Pueblo, CO January 31, 2019The Pueblo Chieftain published an article "Officials: Fentanyl is in Pueblo," reporting that clients visiting the Southern Colorado Harm Reduction Association (SCHRA) have tested positive for fentanyl. "It’s not just heroin that is being laced with fentanyl, but methamphetamine and cocaine, too," according to Judy Solano, executive director of SCHRA. Read the full article here.

Rabid Skunk Confirmed in Pueblo
Now is the time to vaccinate your pets 

Pueblo, CO January 25, 2019The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed skunks tested positive for rabies in the city of Pueblo. Public health officials urge pet owners to vaccinate their pets against rabies.

“It is important to keep your pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, as rabies is carried in wild animals throughout Colorado,” stated Vicki Carlton, program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Carlton added, “Leave wild animals alone and move your pets away from wild animals if one is encountered.”

Unvaccinated dogs and cats exposed to rabies have an extremely high chance of getting infected which could lead to the pet being put to sleep. Contact your veterinarian to confirm your pet’s rabies vaccination is current or to get a rabies vaccine

These pets also pose a huge risk to humans because they can bring rabies into the home, this put the human at risk. When this happens humans must have a series of vaccinations to protect them.

Here are some key rabies prevention steps:

Ensure that pets are vaccinated properly against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Keep in mind that vaccines not administered by a licensed veterinarian are not considered valid vaccinations in the State of Colorado, including Pueblo County. 

Protect all pets, particularly animals too young to be vaccinated, from contact with wild animals. Puppies and kittens should be vaccinated for rabies as early as three months old.

If you believe your animal has been exposed to rabies, or possibly bitten by a rabid animal, immediately contact your veterinarian.

Do not feed wild animals or allow your pets around them.

Do not keep pet food outside as that may attract wild animals.

            For additional information about rabies visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web site at www.cdc.gov/rabies.

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Youth Suicide in Pueblo is a Unique Challenge, Colorado Attorney General Office’s Report Shows

Pueblo, CO January 24, 2019- Pueblo stood out as “most unique” among six counties featured in a youth suicide report by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. The report’s findings not only highlight challenges Pueblo faces in its efforts to combat suicide in youth, but also comments on unique strengths Pueblo has in preventing suicide – namely cultural and family pride.

“A life taken by suicide is devastating to a family and our community,” said Colter DeWitt, health promotion specialist at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.

Pueblo’s youth suicide rate for ages 10-18 is 13.1 per hundred thousand, nearly double Colorado’s rate of 7.6.

DeWitt explained, “This report helps guide efforts and supplement work the Pueblo community is already doing by closing gaps in services and coordinating strategies and programs statewide”. DeWitt added, “As a result of Pueblo’s youth suicide rate, community organizations have taken steps to increase access to mental health care, train providers and other professionals to take mental health as seriously as physical health, reduce stigma among youth about seeking help, and improve positive youth development.”

The Colorado Attorney General Office’s report shared the findings of focus groups conducted in six counties across Colorado. 

Key Findings from the report

Risk Factors attributing to youth suicide in Colorado:

  • Pressure and anxiety about failing
  • Social media and cyber bullying
  • Lack of prosocial activities
  • Lack of connection to a caring adult
  • Judgement and lack of acceptance in the community
  • Substance use, mental health disorders and trauma history
  • Adult suicides in the community impact youth

Unique factors at higher rates in Pueblo:

  • Deep-rooted ties have created a culture of secrecy
  • Economic troubles leading to transportation and financial barriers
  • Lack of prosocial opportunities
  • Stigma against talking about suicide, costs, transportation, and a general lack of knowledge of resources reduce the likelihood that people will use the behavioral health resources available
  • Large number of single parent households
  • Short-term grants make long-term efforts difficult to sustain
  • Community and civic pride
  • Multiple youth-serving initiatives and groups meeting about different youth needs
  • Strong family resiliency

        Focus groups in Pueblo stated the community can strongly benefit from working together across sectors, 
        especially if the community and schools collaborate more often. 

        A few of the current efforts Ito prevent youth-suicide in Pueblo:

  • Newly formed Suicide Prevention Coalition of Pueblo County to bring Pueblo partners together
  • Training adults that work with young people in Mental Health First Aid
  • Sources of Strength program in school districts to build help-seeking and connectedness among youth
  • Stigma reduction presentations available for high schools
  • Mentorship programs
  • Family-based support programs
  • Zero Suicide system-wide transformation programs at Health Solutions and St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center

The full report can be found on the Attorney General’s site at bit.ly/2H0t9K6

Contact the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment at 719-583-9901 to get involved in Pueblo’s suicide prevention efforts. 


Pueblo Department of Public Health & Environment
o 719 583 4513 f 719 583 4524
101 W 9th Street| Pueblo CO 81003 | 719 583 4300 | pueblohealth.org