Loading...

Colorado Will Use American Rescue Funds to Combat Substance Abuse Disorders

August 11, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck
(Wikimedia Commons)

Colorado is experiencing a substance abuse disorder crisis, and now city officials are looking to combat the problem with $450 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan. 

Fatal drug overdose deaths increased approximately 38% in Colorado from 2019 to 2020, according to preliminary federal data from the National Vital Statistics System.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 1,477 deaths statewide in 2002, compared to 1,072 people who died of an overdose in 2019. 

State data also shows a rise in fentanyl-associated deaths, which more than doubled from 222 deaths in 2019, to 540 deaths in 2020.

Gov. Jared Polis signed SB 21-137, also known as the Behavioral Health Recovery Act, into law on June 28, which allocates $100 million to behavioral health programs.

The funds will be allocated toward things like a medication-assisted treatment expansion pilot program, expanding the Colorado State University AgrAbility project to provide funds for a rural rehabilitation specialist, harm reduction grant program, and creating a health connector workforce program to educate health care providers on substance use disorders, mental health, and COVID-19 intersection.

The act also requires Medicaid to screen for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and establish a statewide data collection and information system to identify areas of improvement, promote accountability.

While the remaining $450 million in federal funding has yet to be allocated, state legislators are hoping the funds will be used to improve a new substance use benefit for Medicaid patients.

Rep. Serena Gonzalez-Gutierrez, D-Colo., will serve as a vice chair of a 16-member Behavioral Health task force created by Behavioral Health Recovery Act, which also includes a sub-panel of 25 people with expertise in substance abuse and mental health care. 

One key target that members of the task force have discussed is how to increase access to fentanyl test strips for those who use drugs to test and see if the substance is present, and providing clean syringes to drug users, both harm reduction strategies to reduce the dangers of substance abuse. 

The task force also is considering the establishment of overdose prevention sites for supervised drug use, and improving medication-assisted treatment for drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine. 

The Behavioral Task Force will hold their first meeting on August 16, and will hold additional meetings through January of next year. 

In The States

November 24, 2021
by Dan McCue
Jury Hands Down Multiple Guilty Verdicts in Ahmaud Arbery Murder Case

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — All three defendants have been found guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of jogger Ahmaud Arbery... Read More

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — All three defendants have been found guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of jogger Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020. The reckoning came shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday after about 10 hours of deliberations. It followed a trial in which prosecutors argued that... Read More

November 24, 2021
by Reece Nations
Bitcoin Miners Flocking to Texas for Cheap Energy May Bring Grid Problems

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ alluring low energy costs are drawing bitcoin miners from out of state despite the vulnerable condition... Read More

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ alluring low energy costs are drawing bitcoin miners from out of state despite the vulnerable condition of the electrical grid. Cryptocurrency mining is an energy-intensive process in which new cryptocurrencies are entered into circulation by using sophisticated computer hardware to solve complicated... Read More

November 23, 2021
by Reece Nations
Gohmert Joins Texas Attorney General Race

SAN ANTONIO — Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, announced on Monday that he plans to join the Republican primary field for... Read More

SAN ANTONIO — Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, announced on Monday that he plans to join the Republican primary field for Texas attorney general in a bid to oust incumbent Ken Paxton. Gohmert, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2005, was previously elected state... Read More

Trump-Backed Parnell Loses Custody Battle, Suspends Campaign

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Sean Parnell, the candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, on... Read More

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Sean Parnell, the candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, on Monday suspended his campaign after he lost a court fight over custody of his three children in which the judge said he believed allegations of abuse... Read More

November 22, 2021
by Dan McCue
Eddie Bernice Johnson Retiring from Congress

WASHINGTON — Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, is retiring from Congress after nearly three decades in office, bringing to 16... Read More

WASHINGTON — Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, is retiring from Congress after nearly three decades in office, bringing to 16 the number of Democrats who are bowing out before the 2022 election. Johnson, a trailblazer her whole life, was the first Black woman elected to public... Read More

Investigators Look at if Parade Crash Driver Fleeing Crime

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A joyous scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats and waving pompoms turned... Read More

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A joyous scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats and waving pompoms turned deadly in an instant, as an SUV sped through barricades and into a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing at least five people and injuring more... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version