Fulton County hires a new fighter in the opioid crisis

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Continuing Fulton County’s proactive efforts to address the opioid crisis, County Manager Dick Anderson has established a new Opioid Coordinator position for Fulton County Government. Lynnette Allen, a seasoned behavioral health professional, has been appointed to the role.

“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on our society and within our County. Establishing this critical role is another bold step we are taking to proactively combat this menace,” said Board of Commissioners’ Vice Chairman Bob Ellis, who sponsored legislation in 2017 establishing Fulton County’s Opioid Abuse and Misuse Prevention Plan.

“I am pleased that we are able to make this appointment, to help us strategically align our resources to fight the opioid crisis head on,” said Anderson. “Ms. Allen’s experience and commitment to behavioral health make her a natural fit for this position.”

As Fulton County Opioid Coordinator, Ms. Allen will lead Fulton County’s efforts to address the opioid crisis and will serve as the point of contact between the County and community -based organizations, elected officials, Fulton County Courts, local governments, the State of Georgia, and federal officials.

The Opioid Coordinator position is in the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities, reporting to Director LaTrina Foster.

“Fulton County residents will benefit greatly from Ms. Allen’s extensive work in communities across the County, as well as her commitment to restoring lives affected by addiction,” said Ms. Foster.  

Ms. Allen brings more than 25 years of experience in public health and behavioral health. She has served with Fulton County since 2006, most recently as a Program Evaluation Specialist with the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education from the University of South Carolina.  

Fulton County has taken an aggressive stance in the fight against opioid addiction and overdoses. In 2017, Fulton County became the first Georgia county to join litigation against drug manufacturers for their role in the opioid crisis. The county has made prevention an area of focus and adopted an opioid abuse and misuse prevention plan in 2017, which focused on driving an array of initiatives including robust awareness campaigns, build out of a network of drug drop boxes throughout the county and launch of a text crisis line for teens. Since 2016, Fulton County has also funded naloxone for first responders throughout Fulton County.