Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes receive more than $2 million from state opioid settlement funds
Sept. 7, 2023 (DENVER) — Attorney General Phil Weiser today announced that the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes will receive one-time distributions from the state opioid settlement funds for drug treatment, recovery, prevention and education programs.
The Southern Utes will receive $1,274,536 and the Ute Mountain Utes will receive $747,178 from the State Share. The State Share represents 10% of all opioid settlement funds and is managed by the Colorado Department of Law. The amounts distributed to the tribes are based on the impact of the opioid crisis in their communities using public health data and are comparable to nearby communities.
These funds are separate from settlements directly between Native American tribes and drug distributors, manufacturers, and other companies. The tribes must use the funds for approved opioid abatement purposes outlined in the historic joint framework signed by the Colorado Department of Law and local governments in August 2021.
“Tribal communities suffered some of the worst consequences of the opioid crisis of any population in the country. No amount of money will be enough to address the outsized impact of the opioid crisis on tribal communities, but the funds from Colorado’s share of opioid settlements will provide critical resources to the Ute Mountain Utes and Southern Utes to save lives,” Weiser said.
Combating the opioid crisis is one of Weiser’s top priorities. During his time in office, the attorney general has secured more than $700 million in legal settlements from companies responsible for creating and fueling the opioid crisis. The Colorado Opioid Abatement Council provides oversight of the opioid settlement funds to ensure the distribution of those funds complies with the terms of any settlement and the joint framework. To date, approximately $43 million has been distributed to 19 regional opioid abatement councils and local governments to address the opioid crisis in their communities.
Earlier this year, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recognized Colorado with one of its inaugural Excellence in the Application of Opioid Litigation Principles Awards for the state’s planning and regional collaboration.
For more information about the state’s opioid response plan, please visit www.coag.gov/opioids.
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