Signal Behavioral Health Network participated in a meeting with Congresswoman Diana DeGette, the Office of Behavioral Health, the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, and Denver Health to discuss Colorado’s response to the opioid crisis. The Congresswoman sponsored the 21st Century Cures Act which provides emergency funding to State’s to address the opioid crisis. Denver Health is among the Colorado substance use disorder services providers that have received funding from the Cures grant to address the epidemic.

Congresswoman Diana DeGette: “Today I met with state and local experts on opioid abuse prevention and treatment to discuss the importance of federal funding for these efforts in Colorado; afterward, we held a news conference to highlight this important health policy issue. Abuse of prescription drugs and the use of heroin are claiming thousands of lives and wrecking even more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 19 minutes, an American dies from an unintentional drug overdose – and each day, 78 Americans die from opioid-related overdose. President Donald J. Trump recently declared the situation a national emergency, but without implementation guidelines, it’s unclear what this might mean. As a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’ve worked to reduce the epidemic’s impact through legislation that removes federal barriers to implementation of prevention and treatment programs. And my bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, which became law in December 2016, included $1 billion over two years to fight opioid abuse. This funding is awarded to states through grants based on need. Colorado is receiving $7.8 for opioid treatment and prevention as a result of 21st Century Cures. The state is using these funds to pay for medication-assisted therapy, family therapy, overdose reversal medications, emergency room pilot studies, training for primary care doctors and nurses, residential treatment and partnerships with law enforcement.”