Colorado officials say heroin fight requires treatment, enforcement

DENVER — Colorado officials hope a two-fold approach will prevent the growth of the state’s heroin epidemic.

Federal and state officials on Tuesday announced plans to focus on prosecuting dealers while training local law enforcement to help people addicted to the drug get treatment through a state hotline.

Officials say they have to simultaneously cut the availability of heroin and act as a link to resources for people addicted to it.

According to an updated report also released Tuesday, 228 people died in Colorado in 2016 from overdoses. That amounts to 4.1 deaths per 100,000 residents.

The effort doesn’t have any new financial backing.

Officials with the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Area say they will direct $4 million in existing funds toward law enforcement task forces focused on heroin.

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