Colorado State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis

Since 2017, Colorado's Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) — and now the Behavioral Health Association (BHA) — has received more than $94 million in federal grants to help Coloradans access medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.

  • In May 2017, OBH received $15.7 million over two years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the State Targeted Response (STR) grant.
  • In September 2018, OBH received $38 million over two years for the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant from SAMHSA.
  • In August 2020, OBH was given the Notice of Award for the next iteration of the State Opioid Response grant from SAMHSA, totaling $41.6 million over two years.

The BHA is administering funding from these federal grants for activities completed by community partners, including contracted and licensed local substance use treatment providers and medical providers.

One of the first activities of the STR grant was to conduct a needs assessment. The assessment identified areas where opioid misuse and its harms are most prevalent, existing activities and funding sources that address the opioid crisis, and gaps in the existing system to be addressed. The assessment provided OBH, community partners, and providers with data and guidance in priority-setting and validation of the strategies addressed. View the needs assessment here.

The needs assessment informed both STR and SOR activities, as listed below.


  • Family Services (CRAFT model)


  • Funding for medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Community Reinforcement Approach


  • Peer recovery coaches
  • Employment services
  • Recovery housing

Criminal justice

  • Community-based criminal justice referrals to MAT
  • Provide MAT in jails

Harm reduction

  • Naloxone distribution
  • Naloxone education

Braided funding opportunities

There are multiple funding sources coming into Colorado to combat the opioid epidemic, each with different requirements and targets. The Braided Funding Opportunities presentation touches upon some BHA funding considerations before diving into various State Opioid Response Grant-funded services and projects, and lists some specific opportunities for braiding funding.

Grant-funded activities

  • Buprenorphine trainings for physicians and advanced practice providers in primary care and community behavioral health practices
  • Expanded access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for uninsured and underinsured clients
  • Purchase and distribution of naloxone kits, including educational materials
  • Expand alternatives to opioids (ALTOs) model and MAT inductions in emergency departments
  • Enhanced crisis line services to better serve individuals seeking opioid use disorder services
  • Support for implementation of Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT)
  • Increase the number of recovery residences and cover the first month of rent for hundreds of Coloradans at these residences
  • Fund residential treatment for high need or homeless clients so they may initiate MAT
  • Partner with recovery community organizations to provide peer-delivered recovery support services to people in recovery
  • Expand day-of-release services for people with OUD leaving county jails to support linkage to effective treatment
  • Targeted communications campaigns focused on connecting folks to treatment and stigma reduction (see more at LiftTheLabel.org and ColoradoCrisisServices.org)
  • Treatment locator function and ability to make an in-app call to Colorado Crisis Services on the OpiRescue app
  • Support for strategic planning and needs of Colorado tribes

For the latest on what the grants have accomplished to date, download the fact sheet.

For more information, please contact Marc Condojani at marc.condojani@state.co.us or call 303.866.7400.