Former Obama official to help combat RI opioid crisis

January 8, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has hired a former Obama administration official to help tackle the state’s opioid crisis.

The Providence Journal reports former Democratic Sen. Tom Coderre will return to the state as a senior adviser to the governor. Raimondo’s chief of staff says Coderre will help coordinate various departments and agencies to respond to the opioid crisis.

Coderre worked in the state senate from 1995 to 2014 before Obama appointed him as a senior adviser in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

He previously described equal access to mental health and substance abuse treatment as “the civil rights issue of our time.” Coderre himself is recovering from a drug addiction.

His salary is reported at $150,797 a year.

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