Here’s how Boulder County is spending its opioid settlement money

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

As the funds from massive, multi-state legal settlements roll in, Boulder County has decided where the first local dollars will go. The focus is on existing programs; long-term planning that may fund new offerings is underway now, officials said.

Colorado is set to receive hundreds of millions of dollars from pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and major pharmacy retailers for their role in America’s opioid epidemic, the result of nationwide court battles. The money is meant to treat and prevent addiction to opioids; the state released its plan for distributing revenue in August 2021.

Under current settlements, Boulder County will eventually get more than $17 million from the state, spread over 18 years. More money is anticipated as pending cases are settled.

A regional governing council — made up of elected and appointed government, law enforcement and public health officials from around the county — oversees distribution of the funds. They act on recommendations from an operations board: representatives from local government and nonprofits, as well as three people with lived experience related to the opioid crisis.

The Boulder County Regional Opioids Council announced its first round of funding in mid-January: more than $1.5 million to two dozen existing programs. 67% of the money is dedicated to treatment, and 25% to prevention.

More than $1 million — 65% of all spending — went to government programs, with more than half of that tied to youth or adult involvement in the criminal justice system. A half-dozen area nonprofits received just over $500,000 in funding, 35% of expenditures.

Find a full list of Round 1 spending below

The first round of funding went exclusively to pre-existing programs. That allowed for quicker delivery of funds into the community, according to Kelly Veit, Boulder County’s strategic implementation manager.

“Our strategy was to fund programs that were already standing, what we know is already working in the community,” Veit said. “We are going to be looking at what we call aspirational programs in the next round.”

“We want to make sure we have the opportunity to bring on new programs.” 

Treatment Programs – $1,035,722.04

  • Jail Medication Assisted Treatment Program (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)- $143,392.39
  • Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program/Medicated Assisted Treatment Support (BC Community Justices Service)- $140,000
  • REWiND – Rebuilding Expectations and Walking in New Directions (City of Longmont)- $98,052
  • LEAD – Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program (Longmont)- $75,000.00
  • Jail Opioid Case Manager (Boulder County Jail) -$55,000
  • RestART Studio (City of Longmont)- $45,000
  • Community Health Worker (Mental Health Partners) – $80,600.00
  • LEAF Mental Wellness & Addiction Recovery (Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund)- $77,177.65
  • Pride in Recovery (Out Boulder County) – $75,000
  • Adventure Recovery (nonprofit) – $50,000
  • AccuDetox/AcuWellness (Natural Highs)- $16,500
  • Medication Assisted Treatment Expansion Project (Mental Health Partners) – $180,000

Prevention Programs – $380,200

  • Youth in Recovery (nonprofit)- $46,000
  • Parenting Support (City of Longmont)- $40,000
  • Substance Use Advisory Group (Boulder County Community Services)- $14,200
  • Public Service Announcement and Awareness Building campaigns (Boulder County Public Health) – $10,000
  • Harm Reduction Coordinator (Boulder County Public Health) – $130,000
  • Community Narcan Web (Boulder County Public Health) – $115,247
  • Harm Reduction Staff at Crisis Center (Boulder County Public Health) – $85,000
  • Overdose Prevention Vending Machines (Boulder County Public Health) – $40,000
  • Harm Reduction Supplies and Servicing (Boulder County Public Health) – $15,000

Additional Areas – $125,250

  • Investigation Equipment: Cellebrite Premium (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)- $71,250
  • Investigation Equipment: TruNarc (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office) – $29,000 (Author’s note: While these funds were requested, a representative from the Sheriff’s Office said another funding source was used to purchase this equipment)
  • Investigation Equipment: Graykey (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office) – $10,000
  • Community Health Worker Training (Mental Health Partners) -$15,000

The totals above do not reflect the actual amount that eventually went to programs. That’s because the Regional Council in December decided to increase expenditures by 10% above initial requests.

“This was to account for the fact that salary and other business costs have increased significantly between when programs made their original funds requests (back in June), and now,” Veit wrote in response to emailed followup questions.

Additionally, some money was set aside for administrative costs. The total amount of funds allocated was $1.8 million, as reported by the county and other media outlets.

Related: Boulder County used opioid settlement money to by controversial phone-hacking tech

— Shay Castle, @shayshinecastle or on Mastodon at

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