March 14, 2019

Denver, CO — The Senate this morning voted unanimously to pass SB19-001, Expand Medication-assisted Treatment Pilot Program, a bill from President Leroy M. Garcia (D-Pueblo) to expand the Medication-assisted Treatment (MAT) pilot program currently offered in Pueblo and Routt Counties to 10 additional counties across the state, including the counties in the San Luis valley and 2 additional counties in which a need is demonstrated. The bill now moves to the Colorado House of Representatives for consideration.

“Today, the Senate came together to pass a bill that will save lives by helping Coloradans who are struggling in the face of the opioid epidemic get the treatment they need,” said President Garcia. “We have seen incredible success from the pilot program, and by expanding it to additional high-need counties, we can help even more Coloradans who are battling drug abuse and addiction.”

In 2017, there were 558 opioid overdose deaths in Colorado from both prescription opioids and illegal opioids such as heroin. SB19-001 will expand the MAT program to 10 additional high-need counties throughout the state by providing $5 million in funding over two years.

In addition to expanding and increasing funding for the MAT program, this bill would also shift the administration of the program from the College of Nursing to the center for research into substance abuse disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery support strategies – expanding the work that the College of Nursing is doing and adding more disciplines and communities from around the state and on the Anschutz Campus.

To learn more about SB19-001, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-001.

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