Colorado’s share of a $1.37 billion opioid settlement against parent grocery company Kroger will be approximately $70 million, according to Attorney General Phil Weiser.
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The agreement would only be applicable to states in which Kroger operates, both under its own name or under the name of other subsidiaries, Weiser stated. In Colorado, Kroger owns King Soopers and City Market.
Dozens of government officials from Clear Creek and Gilpin County joined Weiser at the Clear Creek County Health and Wellness Center in Idaho Springs Sept. 11.
City leaders from Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Empire and Dumont listened as Weiser described local efforts to battle the opioid “crisis” as “a model” for other cities and counties across Colorado.
Weiser pointed to the Clear Creek Health Assistance Team or CCHAT as a move in the right direction.
CCHAT is a recently instituted coordinated effort with Clear Creek EMS, the Clear Creek County Department of Human Services and law enforcement.
The team is underway running emergency calls with two providers: a community paramedic and a licensed crisis clinician.
“It’s always the right thing to have a co-responder program so we’re not asking law enforcement to do work that law enforcement isn’t best suited to do,” Weiser commented.
The AG listened as each government representative introduced themselves and talked about how the opioid crisis, addiction and mental health issues have affected them or family members.
Nearly everyone had a personal story.
Weiser listened and shook his head in acknowledgment.
“Destigmatizing conversations about addictions and behavioral health is critical,” Weiser said.
Weiser left the meeting promising to take suggestions and recommendations to staff for review and follow-up.
Ultimately, Weiser commented, communication will be a key to recovery State-wide.
“We need to be open about these struggles," he said. "We need to be able to say, 'It’s OK not to be OK.' It’s not OK not to talk about it and not to get help”
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