State calls opioid overdose problem a ‘health crisis,’ will distribute more medication

DENVER -- The state health department is distributing more life-saving medication to first responders to help fight a surge in opioid deaths.

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said 75 people die in Colorado from drug overdose each month and that the state has a "health crisis" as a result.

Many of the deaths could be avoided if paramedics and other emergency workers could administer the drug narcan.

The state will use money from a lawsuit settlement to train officers on its use while providing 2,500 narcan rescue kits.