Former Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams will lead the state’s effort to solve the opioid abuse problem. Colroado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Jan. 23 that Williams will serve as the new …
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Former Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams will lead the state’s effort to solve the opioid abuse problem.
Colroado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Jan. 23 that Williams will serve as the new Director of Opioid Response in the Colorado Office of the Attorney General.
“The opioid addiction crisis impacts public health authorities, law enforcement agencies, schools, and our communities,” Weiser said in a press release. “To support effective strategies to address this crisis, we need to recognize the range of ways in which it is playing out in Colorado.”
Williams will lead the newly formed Opioid Abuse Impact Team and oversee all opioid-related community outreach activities. She will work with experts and leaders in Colorado communities to determine needs, best practices and strategies supported by the latest research on substance abuse and opioid-related matters.
“Heidi’s local government experience, her listening skills, and opioid strategy experience—as well our office’s community engagement focus—will be crucial as we develop and implement an overall strategy with local and state leaders,” said Weiser.
Weiser has made combating the opioid crisis one of his top priorities. He filed an updated lawsuit last July against opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma that added former company executives and members of the Sackler Family, who owned and still own Purdue, for their roles in the opioid epidemic that killed thousands of Coloradans and left thousands more struggling with addiction.
Weiser has committed to directing funds that the state gets from opioid litigation judgments or negotiated settlements to drug treatment, recovery, and education and prevention programs. That money will be time limited, so he wants to develop strategies that are ready to implement quickly.
“We have a diverse state and solutions in Montezuma County will be different from those in Morgan County,” Weiser said.
Williams said it’s an honor to take the job.
“I am looking forward to connecting with community leaders and organizations around the state to gain input on opioid issues and current programs that will inform the Attorney General’s opioid response strategy,” she said.
Williams currently serves as the president of The Ralston House Board of Directors and on the Front Range Community College Foundation Board.
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