ATLANTA – Yesterday, the White House announced that President Barack Obama will speak at the fifth annual National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit on Tuesday, March 29, at The Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel in downtown Atlanta.
The President will speak Tuesday afternoon. The time will be announced at a later date.
This follows his visit last year to West Virginia, where he announced a number of new public and private sector actions to address the epidemic, including a Presidential Memorandum on prescriber training and opioid use disorder treatment.
“We are honored that President Obama will participate in the important discussion of combating prescription drug abuse and the heroin crisis,” said Nancy Hale, President/CEO for Operation UNITE<http://operationunite.org/>, the Summit's organizer. “His presence will help focus the nation’s attention on the drug epidemic that is devastating families and communities across the country.”
“The abuse of prescription medications and heroin has touched countless lives in our communities. Since 2003, Operation UNITE has risen to the challenge to address the scourge of drug abuse in Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” said Congressman Hal Rogers, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse.
“The community leaders and young people involved in this effort knew from Day One that it would take a collaborative, holistic approach to tackle the problem of opioid addiction. I could not be more proud that this organization has taken its message of hope to the national stage for the fifth year in a row,” Rogers added. “We’re losing 100 Americans every day to overdoses from prescription drug abuse and heroin, and it’s heartbreaking to know so many are losing a battle that they can win with help.”
“This is a truly non-partisan issue, as it takes all of us working together to curb the deadly tide of drug abuse in America and inspire real change, from the Commander-in-Chief to local police chiefs and treatment professionals, and everyone in between,” Rogers said.
The 2016 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit is the largest national collaboration of federal, state and local professionals, and advocates seeking to address prescription drug abuse, misuse and diversion. This year the Summit has expanded its focus to address the emerging heroin crisis, which has been linked to the prescription drug problem. More than 1,600 people already have registered for the Summit, which will be held March 28 through March 31.
Break-out sessions will focus on issues such as how drug treatment courts are providing an alternative to incarceration, preventing Hepatitis C and HIV outbreaks, early identification of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, community responses to heroin, and the use of performance-enhancing drugs and ADHD medication among youth.
For additional information on the Summit, including a list of other national speakers, visit http://nationalrxdrugabusesummit.org.