Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane is resigning to serve as director of the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday (July 27).
He has served as the state’s drug director since July 2017. Lane’s resignation is effective August 21, 2022.
The Arkansas Association of Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League created the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership and has hired Lane as director to oversee the distribution of money the counties and cities have received in settlements with the manufacturers and distributors of opioids.
“In the five years Kirk has led the fight against substance abuse, Arkansans know more about the issue and are better equipped to battle it in the public arena and when it becomes personal,” Gov. Hutchinson said. “Thousands of Arkansans have survived an opioid overdose because of Kirk’s commitment to put Narcan in the hands of first responders.”
In his letter of resignation, Lane thanked Hutchinson for the appointment, which put him on the front lines in the fight against substance abuse.
“This position has opened my eyes to the serious issues that substance use disorder creates, and how it has entrenched itself in everything we do,” Lane said. “Most importantly, it has made me more determined to get in front of it to defeat it. I hope to work in collaboration with the State of Arkansas to fill in the gaps and sustain programs that are evidence based to change the direction of the trends.”