Nearly $33 million dollars in funding for substance use and mental health has been proposed to be cut from past bills out of the Colorado Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorder Committee and related substance use bills. We understand the state’s dire budgetary situation, but ask that the funds for ongoing essential services be preserved.
It is critical to the well-being of numerous residents and families of Colorado that existing state-funded services, which includes gains made in the last two legislative sessions, continue for substance abuse prevention, harm reduction, treatment, recovery, and alternative law enforcement responses.
Our state already under spends in the area of substance use prevention, treatment and recovery services and it has taken us years to build the capacity to begin to mitigate the impact of the opioid crisis in Colorado. The recommended cuts would devastate the progress we have made over several years and could take up to a decade to regain. In the meantime, countless lives will be lost, having a significant impact on our state’s health outcomes.
The COVID-19 pandemic is further exacerbating our existing opioid and other substance use crisis, leading to increase drug use, relapse, drug-related suicide, and overdoses. Social isolation, unemployment, and despair have all been shown to increase problematic substance use in the general public and lead to an increased risk in relapse for those in recovery. While we understand the state’s competing needs at this time, we cannot turn a blind-eye and make cuts on past gains.
Contact key members of the Joint Budget Committee NOW:
Also contact your local legislator. Find here
! If you have their phone number, even better.
The Joint Budget Committee will be making decisions this week, starting Wednesday 5/6 morning on these bills.
Cuts have been proposed to past bills HB1136, SB202, HB1287, SB228, HB1009, SB008, HB1193. We ask that these essential programs not be eliminated or reduced.
Some items at risk for cuts or elimination:
– Delay to implement Medicaid in-patient residential coverage for an additional year to July 2021
– Elimination of treatment funds to rural and frontier communities
– Cuts to 202 funds for substance use treatment
– Elimination of online treatment tracking system and care navigation
– Elimination of opioid and other substances awareness campaigns
– Elimination of Certified Addiction Counselor scholarship program
– Cuts to provider reimbursement rates
– Reduction of funding for medication assisted treatment in jails and prisons
– Reduction in criminal justice diversion programs
State Senator Brittany Pettersen
CO SD 22