$2 Million in Opioid Settlement Funds Going to Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Sept. 7 the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe will get one-time distributions from the state opioid settlement funds for drug treatment, recovery, prevention and education programs.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe will get nearly $1.3 million and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe will receive nearly $750,000  from the State Share, a press release explained. The State Share represents 10% of all opioid settlement funds and is managed by the Colorado Department of Law, the announcement noted. 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, the press release continued.

The announcement explained these funds are separate from settlements that are directly between Native American tribes and drug distributors, manufacturers and other companies. The tribes will need to use the money for approved opioid abatement purposes outlined in the joint framework signed by the Colorado Department of Law and local governments in 2021, the press release continued.

“Tribal communities suffered some of the worst consequences of the opioid crisis of any population in the country,” Weiser said in a press release. “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.”

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