What starts at UT Austin changes the world, and changing the world starts with impacting your local community. Dr. Lori Holleran Steiker’s work in substance abuse prevention and recovery among adolescents and their families has already been impacting Texas communities for years.  Her recent election to the Texas Opioid Abatement Council expands on her work and the work of other researchers and advocates at UT Austin.

The Texas Opioid Abatement Council ensures that funds from the state are allocated fairly and used to work towards solving the opioid epidemic in Texas. This prestigious council is comprised of 14 members from varying settings. Six of these members, Dr. Holleran Steiker among them, are regional and are appointed by the executive commissioners of the Health and Human Services Commission.

Dr. Holleran Steiker is a Distinguished Professor and Steve Hicks Professor of Addictions and Substances Abuse Services at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work as well as the Associate Dean and Director of Instruction, Engagement, and Wellness at the School of Undergraduate Studies. She is also Co-PI of the Texas Targeted Opioid Response grants at UT and co-creator of Operation Naloxone and SHIFT harm reduction initiatives on the UT Campus. 

Her previous research concerns substance abuse prevention and recovery for adolescents and their families and evaluating prevention curricula. This latest honor is a logical continuation of the work that Dr. Holleran Steiker has already accomplished and the work of institutes like the Addiction Research Institute (ARI).

“This kind of faculty service sets an example for our students and shows our commitment to tangibly changing the world,” said Dr. Luis Zayas, Dean off the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. “Dr. Holleran Steiker’s work takes what we teach in the School of Social Work into the real world and will improve the lives of Texans across the state. I’m proud to call her a colleague.”

There are no term limits for this council position, and Dr. Holleran Steiker will remain on the Council throughout the dissemination of the Opioid Abatement funds. Her appointment will continue her work and research fighting against the opioid crisis. It is an example of UT Austin’s commitment to communities in Austin, the state of Texas, and the world.

For more information on the Opioid Abatement Council and council members, visit the Texas Comptroller webpage.