Colorado has been awarded more than $2 million to combat opioid addiction – a major public health issue.

The federal funding is part of a national initiative aimed at improving drug prescribing practices and expanding treatment for opioid abuse.

Two state agencies will receive the funding, including the state Department of Public Health and Environment. The money will improve its prescription drug monitoring program and evaluate recent efforts to curb opioid-related addiction and death.

"This money is so important to Colorado right now," said Lindsey Myers, CDPHE's violence and injury prevention - mental health promotion branch chief. "Because over the last 10 years we have seen prescription drug opioid deaths really increase by about four-fold in Colorado.”

The Colorado Department of Human Services also received funding. It will help expand treatment for those who are addicted to heroin or prescription pain medications.