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Rep. Pettersen Joins Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force

WASHINGTON—Representative Brittany Pettersen (CO-07) announced today that she has joined the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, a group focused on promoting policies to combat the addiction and mental health crises in America. Since first entering public service, Pettersen has championed efforts to address the addiction epidemic, inspired by her own mother’s struggle that began with over-prescribed opioids and led to a decades-long addiction.

“We’ve lost more people to the opioid epidemic than all world wars combined, and with the increase of fentanyl, overdose deaths continue to rise. My mom suffered with a prescription opioid addiction that led to heroin and lasted for decades until she finally got the help she desperately needed. She has been in recovery for over five years and is an example of what's possible, but there are far too many who aren’t as lucky,” said Pettersen. “The over-prescription of opioids, a lack of resources for addiction care, and barriers to mental health services have ravaged communities and families across Colorado and the country. I’m proud to join this bipartisan task force and bring my personal experiences fighting to save my mom's life in a broken system to the table as we work to address this public health crisis.”

The Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, led by Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), David Trone (D-MD), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), was created in 2021 and has already been instrumental in passing legislation to address both the addiction and mental health epidemics which were only worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joining this task force is just the latest in Pettersen’s efforts to fight the opioid and substance use disorder epidemic that has ravaged nearly every community in Colorado. During her time in the Colorado state legislature, Pettersen passed several measures to improve the behavioral health system in the state, including creating a program to coordinate transition services for high-risk individuals, limiting prescriptions of opioids, and expanding treatment capacity in underserved communities.