Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has hired former state Senator Tom Coderre, a Democrat, to serve as a senior advisor on the opioid crisis.
The governor's chief of staff said Coderre will help coordinate various departments and agencies and their response to the crisis.
The state has recently seen a slight dip in the number of opioid overdose deaths, but health officials remain concerned about the number of people experiencing opioid addiction and overdoses. The state has implemented several programs aimed at tackling the problem, including placing peer recovery coaches in emergency rooms and working to increase the number of doctors providing prescription-based opioid addiction treatment.
Coderre served as a state senator from 1995 to 2014 before Obama appointed him as a senior adviser in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.