Colorado House of Representatives

COPA is an association that represents behavioral health and substance use prevention, treatment, harm reduction, recovery, research, and crisis services agencies. We seek to advocate for those with a substance use disorder (SUD), as well as those affected by it.

We believe that we must consistently focus our attention on our priorities to address funding, workforce, access, prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery to ensure the ongoing, equitable, and trauma-informed provision of services to all regions of the state across the continuum of care.

Funding for Behavioral Health

COPA seeks funding principles that align to meet the SUD service needs of Coloradans across the continuum of care. We seek a transformative and trauma-informed system that can deliver on changes in demand and is equipped to meet the needs of the entire state, whether rural, frontier, or urban. 


People are our greatest assets. COPA is invested in initiatives that help create, sustain, and retain a viable workforce. The objective of workforce development is to create economic viability for individuals, businesses, and communities connected with SUD care.


COPA seeks to lead the behavioral health field in mobilizing its member organizations to work together to address issues around access to care. We will continue to offer solutions to State Departments, which are responsible for supporting the continuum of care in the state. 


Research consistently shows that prevention strategies work for children, adolescents, and adults. COPA sees prevention and early intervention as essential ingredients to the continuum of SUD care. In order to impact and mitigate the devastation of substance use and SUD, COPA embraces prevention programs and earlier intervention, and advocates for increased attention to the social determinants of health.


SUD treatment is designed to help individuals stop or reduce harmful substance misuse, improve their health and social function, and manage their risk for relapse. In this regard, SUD is effective and has a positive economic impact. COPA understands that many individuals may benefit from evidence-based substance use treatment that addresses their specific needs, including physical, psychosocial, and environmental issues. 

Harm Reduction

The first step in helping an individual with a SUD is valuing their life. Keeping someone with a SUD alive creates the opportunity to offer them treatment and recovery in the future. Harm reduction is a priority of COPA. 


COPA seeks recovery expansion that aligns with the goal of meeting the SUD and crisis service needs of Coloradans, links with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), and other leading sources for recovery policy. Coloradans in recovery need stable housing, employment, purpose, health, and community support. COPA seeks recovery expansion that can deliver on changes in demand, and is equipped to meet the needs of the entire state including frontier, rural, and urban communities.

The team at COPA has been an invaluable resource for our organization in navigating the legislative process as we strive to make recovery residences safer in Colorado

– Butch Lewis, Colorado Association of Recovery Residences