Colorado awards Summit County $60,000 for opioid treatment services in jail |

Colorado awards Summit County $60,000 for opioid treatment services in jail

This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. The Summit County Sheriff's Office received a grant earlier this month to help treat opioid use disorder at the Summit County Detentions Facility.
File via AP | AP

The Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Behavioral Health has awarded funding to the Summit County Detentions Facility in order to help fund opioid treatment in the jail.

The department awarded nearly $1.9 million earlier this month to 17 county sheriff’s offices that applied for medication-assisted treatment funding — a combination of medication and behavioral therapy that’s considered the most effective way to treat opioid-use disorder. Summit County will receive a $60,000 grant for the program.

To this point, the department had funded similar treatment services in five of the 17 counties: Denver, Boulder, Douglass, Jefferson and Pueblo. Almost 500 individuals have received medication-assisted treatment before or upon release from jail through the fund since 2017.

“In Colorado, we continue to increase the availability of MAT services statewide for those who need it, including treatment for people who are incarcerated, in many paces as a result of their addiction,” Office of Behavioral Health director Robert Werthwein said. “We know that the risk of opioid overdose drastically increases after a period of abstinence, such as incarceration, and intervening at this juncture is key to our efforts to reduce overdoses.”

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