The man who has been leading Arkansas’ fight against opioid deaths is stepping down, and now he looks to the future as he takes a new role in stopping overdoses.
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The man who has led the fight to prevent opioid deaths in Arkansas is now stepping down, but he won’t be too far from the cause.
Kirk Lane has been Arkansas’ Drug Director for 5 years. During that time, the state saw a downward trend of overdose deaths until 2020.
“Not just to blame it on the pandemic, we also have a big insurgence of illicit fentanyl,” said Lane.
In the past two years, Arkansas has dealt with synthetic drugs becoming more widespread. They are more potent, highly lethal, and easier to conceal.
Kirk Lane is now resigning from his position and will take a look at other successes that were key indicators in Arkansas’ fight against the opioid epidemic.
“You got to look back at other programs like Drug Take Back, Naloxone, and peer recovery what would our numbers really be,” said Lane.
He will now be the director of the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership where he will oversee the distribution of money to counties and cities that have received settlements of opioid lawsuits.
He said that Arkansas could see well over $300 million dollars over an 18-year period.
“It really takes bringing people together to really affect the problem… changing culture, changing mindset and that’s not done overnight and you can’t buy it out of a store,” said Lane.
Lane’s last day as Drug Director will be August 21.