Helping Rural Colorado Prevent Substance Abuse

(Feb. 23) – A bill by Rep. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, and Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, to continue the Rural Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program passed the Public Health Care and Human Services Committee this afternoon.
The program was originally created in 2009 and distributes funds to rural counties to mitigate alcohol and substance abuse among rural youths and provides funding for detoxification facilities in rural counties. HB16-1168 extends the program until 2025.
“Overdose deaths are reaching record levels in rural Colorado,” said Rep. Ginal. “As addictions rise, we keep hearing from rural communities that they need more resources to fight this epidemic. This bill provides detox and prevention programs to help those communities.”
“This bill is personal to me, because it will help rural Coloradans,” said Rep. Danielson. “I grew up on a farm in northern Colorado and know how hard it is for rural communities to deal with drug and alcohol abuse. This bill continues a proven, successful program to do just that.”
The program is funded by fees on convictions of DUIs, alcohol or drug offenses, and underage drinking and driving. The funds are split equally between the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Cash Fund and the Detoxification Cash Fund.
The 9-2 vote sends the bill to the House floor. Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, and Rep. Tim Leonard, R-Evergreen, voted no.

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