Colorado State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis

The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) has received more than $45 million in federal grants since 2017 to help Coloradans access medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.

In May 2017, OBH received $15.7 million over two years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the State Targeted Response (STR) grant. This grant will end in April 2019.

In September 2018, OBH received $30.1 million over two years for the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant from SAMHSA. Several activities are an extension of the STR grant, and the SOR grant will end in September 2020.

The Office of Behavioral Health is administering funding from these federal grants for activities completed by community partners, including contracted and licensed local substance use treatment providers and medical providers.

One of the first activities of the STR grant was to conduct a needs assessment. The assessment identified areas where opioid misuse and its harms are most prevalent, existing activities and funding sources that address the opioid crisis, and gaps in the existing system to be addressed. The assessment provided OBH, community  partners, and providers with data and guidance in priority-setting and validation of the strategies addressed.  View the needs assessment here.

The needs assessment informed both STR and SOR activities, as listed below. 

GRANT FUNDED ACTIVITIES

  • Buprenorphine trainings for physicians and advanced practice providers in primary care and community behavioral health practices
  • Expanded access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for uninsured and underinsured clients
  • Purchase and distribution of naloxone kits, including educational materials 
  • Expand alternatives to opioids (ALTOs) model and MAT inductions in emergency departments
  • Mobile MAT units that will provide MAT induction and maintenance services in underserved and rural areas
  • Enhanced crisis line services to better serve individuals seeking opioid use disorder services
  • Support for implementation of CRAFT and Celebrating Families family therapy
  • Fund residential treatment for high need or homeless clients so they may initiate MAT
  • Expand day-of-release services for people with OUD leaving county jails to support linkage to effective treatment
  • Utilize peer recovery coaches to connect individuals with treatment services
  • Multiple targeted communications campaigns on stigma reduction (see more at LiftTheLabel.org), naloxone use, crisis services, and trainings for professionals
  • Treatment locator function and ability to make an in-app call to Colorado Crisis Services on the OpiRescue app
  • Support for strategic planning and needs of Colorado tribes 

For the latest on what the grants have accomplished to date, download the fact sheet here.

For more information, please contact cristen.bates@state.co.us or call 303-866-7400.