Colorado will receive millions to help fight the opioid crisis

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KREX) — “I talked about the need to hold accountable big pharma companies, other irresponsible, other executives and companies who took advantage of people, deceiving people about the addictive effects of all these prescription pills,” says Colorado Attorney General, Phil Weiser.

The nation has been fighting the deadly opioid crisis for years. The jobs not done yet, but big money is on the way to Colorado.

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Weiser also says, “Colorado’s going to get 400 million dollars that’s over about 18 years, and we’re going to be able to provide more drug treatment, recovering services, and support people.”

Weiser believes his office was ahead of the game. wiser also says. “We were working on getting a settlement approved before we had a settlement. Colorado is in a much better position than most states because we’ve put in that work and we built this coalition.”

The state has a plan to allocate dollars to local governments, including the Western Slope.

Weiser added, “regional collaboratives are going to spend 90% of this money serving the people on the ground.”

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Mesa County Commissioner, Cody Davis, says, “there’s going to be local groups to get together to decide how to spend that. They have already been meeting and they’re talking about how to get those dollars into the community in a way that remediates with opioids.”

Davis also appreciates the local control. Davis added, “the state could have taken that and divided it up as they wish statewide, but really has devolved that authority and that power to do so to the local communities.”

The money is expected to start making its way to local governments early this summer or fall.

Before that happens, Weiser has a strong message for county officials, “develop a plan to take the money coming your way, find other sources of money ideally and to address this crisis. We have a lot of important work to do to save lives.”

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