Denver Regional Opioid Abatement Settlement Funding

The City and County of Denver receives local and regional shares of Colorado’s opioid settlement funds. Denver is designated as Region 11 in the statewide regional distribution framework. The framework for the distribution of funds and approved uses are outlined in the Colorado Opioids Settlement Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and upheld by the Colorado Opioid Abatement Council (COAC). Approved uses for the distribution of settlement funds fall into the broad categories of treatment, prevention, and additional areas.

Since October 2022, Denver has received $7,199,545.72 from Colorado’s regional and local shares of settlement funds. Colorado expects to receive additional settlements over many years. Denver’s current two-year spending plan details can be found here: Region 11 | Denver | 2-Year Spending Plan | 2022-2024


Round One Funded Projects*

*These are the intended recipients of OAF contracts in 2024, as voted on by the Denver Opioid Abatement Council. Details are subject to change until contracts are executed.

The Denver Opioid Abatement Council (DOAC) posted a request for proposal (RFP) from April – June 2023 to allocate the first share of regional settlement funds. The DOAC received 36 completed applications from organizations supporting opioid abatement efforts throughout the city and county of Denver. In August 2023, the DOAC voted to fund the following fifteen projects for one year. The contracting process is currently underway.

5280 Recovery High School

Project Name: Capital Infrastructure Expansion

5280 Recovery High School is receiving capital infrastructure funds to increase student capacity and to offer additional behavioral health and recovery support through additional space for staff and student meetings. 5280 is a nationally recognized model for blending recovery and education. With this expansion, they will serve many more Denver adolescents in need of a safe and substance-free school and expand on-site wraparound support for their most vulnerable students.

Status: Fully executed (1/1/2024 – 12/31/2024) 

Advocates for Recovery

Project Name:

Culturally Responsive Peer Recovery Support Expansion

Advocates for Recovery will expand its services for people of color (POC) in Denver who are increasingly impacted by opioid misuse and overdose. The provider aims to reduce racial disparities in access to peer recovery support by providing an authentically inclusive community reflective of Denver’s diversity. This includes investments in staff training, an equity audit of policies, procedures, and peer coach training materials, launch of a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion advisory committee, and hiring of a director of inclusion and community outreach and a bilingual/bicultural peer coach to expand access and inclusion to the Denver Spanish-speaking community.  

Status: Fully executed (1/1/2024 – 12/31/2024) 

Biobot Analytics

Project Name: Fentanyl Wastewater Intelligence

Biobot Analytics will implement a wastewater-based epidemiology program to detect and quantify population consumption levels and illegal dumping events of fentanyl and other substances in the Denver sewer shed. Sampling will occur at the primary wastewater treatment plant level to generate city-wide public health insights. This data can be compared against overdose reports and other data to better inform goals for prevention, harm reduction, and the measurement of overall abatement efficacy.

Status:Fully executed (1/1/2024 – 12/31/2024)

Circuit Media LLC

Project Name: Community-wide Stigma Reduction Campaign

Circuit Media will develop and launch a community-wide anti-stigma campaign to change community attitudes towards individuals affected by opioid use, promote actions that support people affected by opioid use, and reduce the stigma surrounding opioid use. 

Status: Contract Pending

 

Colorado Health Network (CHN)

Project Name: Increasing Accessibility to Care and Treatment for People Who Use Drugs

CHN will address barriers to behavioral health and healthcare including substance use treatment services that people who use drugs (PWUD) are experiencing. CHN’s established harm reduction program will play an integral role in connecting PWUD successfully to care by having a Behavioral Health Clinician on-site to meet with PWUD immediately. The Clinical Care Coordinator will provide integrated care management in order to meet the complex medical, psychological and social needs of PWUD. 

Status: Fully executed (1/1/2024 – 12/31/2024)

 

Project Name: Access Point

CHN will expand its harm reduction program, Access Point, to meet the increased demand for services at its brick-and-mortar facility and to expand its reach in the community through mobile outreach. The planned initiatives, such as hiring additional staff, mobile outreach, naloxone distribution, educational trainings, and drug checking services, along with access to integrated medical and behavioral health services, reflect a comprehensive and holistic approach to care.

Status: Fully executed (1/1/2024 – 12/31/2024)

Denver Health and Hospital Authority (DHHA)

Project Name: Engaging Youth Expertise (EYE) for Opioid Abatement

To prevent opioid overdose, promote harm reduction, and bolster resilience and positive coping among Denver youth, DHHA is creating Engaging Youth Expertise for Opioid Abatement. Leveraging DHHA’s commitment to authentic youth engagement and extensive experience addressing substance misuse within Denver’s communities, the project will create a network of youth in Denver who are prepared to prevent overdose and other harms associated with opioid use among their peers, while also promoting a model for engaging young people with lived experience in addressing youth opioid abatement needs.

Status:Fully executed (1/1/2024 – 12/31/2024)

 

Project Name: Opioid Stewardship Clinical Pharmacist Specialist Program

Modeled after antimicrobial stewardship programs, the opioid stewardship program will ensure pain management is an organization priority with goals of combatting the opioid epidemic and ensuring regulatory compliance. Integrated into a multidisciplinary team, the opioid stewardship clinical pharmacist specialist (CPS) is uniquely positioned to have significant impacts on patient care and recommended therapy practices. The CPS will support opioid stewardship efforts by providing current, evidence-based education to the healthcare team and patients in addition to creating pain management plans, coordinating care, and managing opioid related adverse drug events.

Status: Contract Pending

 

Project Name: Ask CAM TRAIL Expansion

DHHA will expand their established Ask the Center for Addiction Medicine’s Technical Resource and Information Line (Ask CAM TRAIL) community phone line to offer live calls Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm. A strategic communications strategy will be implemented to reach the geographic areas of Denver that have the highest emergency department utilization and overdose rates. Ask CAM TRAIL will provide individuals and healthcare professionals with education, resources, screening, and referrals to help link community members to the right level of substance treatment at Denver Health or within the community. This project will reduce barriers to entering care.

Status: Contract Pending

Denver Public Schools (DPS)

Project Name: Substance Use Prevention Float Program

DPS Substance Use Prevention Float staff will be dispatched to schools as needed to provide support to students who are at the beginning stages of substance misuse. This support will be provided through the implementation of Teen Intervene, an evidence-based, Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program. These staff will also provide evidence-based classroom programs that have demonstrated effectiveness in preventing drug-misuse. 

Status: Fully executed (1/1/2024 – 12/31/2024)

 

Colorado Nonprofit Development Center d.b.a. Harm Reduction Action Center (HRAC)

Project Name: Permanent Harm Reduction Facility

HRAC will purchase a permanent facility to house their critical work providing health access services to over 4,000 individuals per year. Since 2002, the HRAC has been the primary provider of centered education and services for people who inject drugs in Colorado. More recently, since 2020, smokers of crack, meth, and fentanyl have been integrated into services. HRAC has been successful in their work by cultivating a truly safe space where people are respected, treated with dignity, and empowered to improve their health.

Status: Contract Pending 

Luceo CMG

Project Name: Opioid Use and Overdose Prevention Public Education Campaign

Luceo CMG will develop, produce, and implement a Public Education Campaign to inform target audiences about the risks and dangers of opioid/substance use; educate target audiences how to recognize, prevent, and respond to opioid overdose; and increase awareness of the availability and utility of resources, support, treatment, and harm reduction programs for people who use drugs. 

Status: Contract Pending

The Naloxone Project

Project Name: First Responder Naloxone Distribution and Harm Reduction Pilot Program

This project will be one of two in The Naloxone Project’s development of the new Colorado Prehospital Addiction Care Consortium, an association of first responder and addiction care organizations working to improve substance use disorder management and reduce overdoses. In partnership with Denver Health and the Department of Public Safety, the Provider will develop and deliver training to over emergency medical service, police, and prehospital personnel to assess for overdose risk and distribute naloxone in leave behind kits.

Status: Fully executed (1/1/2024 – 12/31/2024)  

Tribe Recovery

Project Name: Transportation for Tribe Recovery Homes

Tribe Recovery will support expanding services and capacity for individuals recovering from substance use disorder and mental health challenges through the purchase of transportation vans. They will purchase vans to transport participants from recovery homes and other locations to Medicaid services, therapies, activities, intake transports, detox runs, and meetings. 

Status: Fully executed (1/1/2024 – 12/31/2024)

Young People in Recovery

Project Name: Peer Recovery Support & Harm Reduction for Denver Youth and Young Adults

This project’s activities will aim to increase the number of young people in Denver who can access the full continuum of care of recovery services for opioid and substance use disorder. This will include providing training and education about naloxone for people who may be at risk of overdose and expanding the distribution of naloxone throughout the community. 

Status: Contract Pending