Tackling the Overdose Crisis in Colorado
Colorado’s overdose death toll in 2020 was the worst in more than two decades, an increase of nearly 38% from the year before. NewDEAL Leader Colorado Senator Brittany Pettersen, whose mother once struggled with opioid addiction, said that the epidemic “makes me angry, frustrated, heartbroken, but also gives me strength to keep fighting.” Senator Pettersen is the chair of her state’s Behavioral Health Transformation Task Force and will be influential in the allocation of approximately $450 million in federal funding for COVID-related mental health and substance abuse needs. Pettersen hopes to make transformational investments to Colorado’s substance use benefit for Medicaid patients and improved access to fentanyl test strips. Read more about her work with the Task Force, and why she finds it so personally meaningful.