$18 million is awarded in first round of opioid settlement money for Colorado counties and cities

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Bottles of methadone for opioid addiction treatment at Denver Health’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic for addiction treatment. Photographed at the clinic on April 15, 2022.

More than $18 million of opioid settlement money is headed to communities across Colorado to help fight the epidemic. 

The Colorado Opioid Abatement Council, chaired by state Attorney General Phil Weiser, approved requests from local governments. Municipalities agreed to specific uses of the settlement funds, including things like addiction treatment, recovery and prevention programs. 

“The release of these funds is an important step forward in our efforts to address the opioid crisis,” said Weiser in a statement. “This crisis continues to take a toll on Coloradans.” 

The bulk of the settlement money comes from Johnson & Johnson and three major drug distributors. But millions are also coming from Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers; Teva/Allegan; Mallinckrodt; and McKinsey & Company.

The council will make distributions to 19 regions and two federally recognized Colorado Tribes. But cities and counties in only 12 regions requested money for this first round. Sixty percent of nearly $400 million in settlement money is designated for regional governments. Twenty percent will go to local governments. The state and statewide infrastructure will get 10 percent each.

Denver requested and will receive $4.7 million dollars this round. The city and county will see $33.8 million over 18 years from the settlements. 

 “My administration is committed to seeing these dollars directed toward a full continuum of care for people experiencing addiction, from treatment to addressing stigma and other barriers, to recovery, with an emphasis on meeting people where they are with the help they need,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in a release. 

Region 18, which includes Saguache, Mineral, Rio Grande, Alamosa, Conejos, and Costilla counties will receive $187,000. 

“This process and funding have brought groups together with renewed energy to serve individuals, families, and this at-risk population,” said Alamosa County Commissioner Lori Laske, member of the Colorado Opioid Abatement Council, in a statement. 

“I can foresee the impact on the San Luis Valley region, from bringing back prevention education to our youth to creating recovery and treatment options for the community, and I am excited to see what it does for the state.”

The council was created by the state to oversee the opioid funds and make sure the distribution complies with the terms of the settlement.

Here's a full list of the Colorado counties and the money they received:

RegionCountiesMoney received
Region 1Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, Jackson and Grand counties$357,809
Region 2Larimer County$2,052,502
Region 3Weld County$1,258,326
Region 4Elbert, Lincoln, Kit Carson, Cheyenne, Yuma, Washington, Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick, and Phillips counties$610,237
Region 5Garfield, Eagle, Summit, Pitkin, and Lake counties $500,000
Region 11Denver County$4,710,151
Region 12Douglas County$50,000
Region 13Mesa County $955,000
Region 14Delta, Gunnison, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, and Hinsdale counties$512,900
Region 15Park, Chaffee, Fremont, and Custer counties$503,791
Region 18Saguache, Mineral, Rio Grande, Alamosa, Conejos, and Costilla counties$187,000
Region 19Pueblo, Huerfano, Crowley, Kiowa, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Las Animas, and Baca counties$2,704,412