April 27, 2019

Denver, CO – The Colorado State Senate today voted unanimously to pass HB19-1193, Behavioral Health Supports for High-Risk Families, a bill sponsored by President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) to increase access to treatment for pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“As a paramedic, I have seen just how much addiction is impacting people in communities all across Colorado, and unfortunately some of those impacted are pregnant women and newborns,” said President Garcia. “We need to proactively address challenges like addiction head on because there are negative consequences for families and communities if we do not act.”

Cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome increased among women enrolled in Colorado Medicaid by 120 percent between 2011 and 2016. To combat this concerning trend, HB19-1193 would provide access to treatment and create child care pilot programs for pregnant women and women one-year postpartum engaged in substance use disorder treatment. It would help identify women in need of such services and allow state funds to provide for treatment.

“This bill will address addiction by providing pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders the treatment and services they need,” added President Garcia.

This bill would create the high-risk families cash fund to provide services to high-risk parents, including pregnant and parenting women, and for services for high-risk children and youth with behavioral health disorders. It would also create the child care services and substance use disorder treatment pilot program and award a variety of pilot program grants to serve pregnant and parenting women in need.

The cost of addiction is not just a danger to the health of newborns and mothers, but it is also extremely costly. Hospital stays are 3.5 times longer than those born without addiction and cost three times as much, according to a study by the Society for the Study of Addiction.

For more information on HB19-1193, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1193.