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Commentary: Rx Summit Brings National Leaders Together to Combat Abuse

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Underscoring the importance of collaboration in the national fight against prescription drug abuse, the 2013 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit will focus on ways participants can “Make an Impact” not only in their communities, but on the country as a whole.

With accidental prescription overdose deaths occurring at 1 every 15 minutes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), emergency room visits nearly doubling in the past five years, and hospital admissions increasing 400 percent over the past decade, it is imperative we act immediately.

The second National Rx Drug Abuse Summit – to be held April 2-4, 2013, at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Florida – will help in this effort.

By bringing together professionals from many disciplines, the Summit provides all stakeholders timely, relevant and evidence-based information. This type of collaboration enables bringing impactful solutions to communities across the United States.

An example of how a holistic approach can succeed can be found in New York City, where their High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) law enforcement team partnered with public health agencies to analyze data and create a game plan to tackle the issues. Collaborations of this type need to be shared and replicated in other communities. By learning from the success of others we can have the greatest impact.

Keynote presentations will include: Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of food and drugs with the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Frances Harding, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention; Joe Rannazzisi, deputy assistant administrator of the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control; Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); and Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, chair of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations, among others.

The Summit includes 30 break-out sessions grouped in tracks – Law Enforcement, Education/Advocacy, Clinical, Treatment, Pharmacy and Third-Party Payer – workshops, vision sessions, and a panel discussion featuring members of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse.

All breakout sessions, workshops and most general sessions will have multiple Continuing Education credits available. These credits will include medical professionals (physicians, nurses and pharmacists), social workers, attorneys, addiction and prevention specialists, human resources, criminal justice and insurance professionals. The Appalachian Regional Commission is once again our Educational Partner.

Identifying opportunities to strategize and partner in seeking solutions to our prescription drug abuse epidemic is what the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is all about.

Karen Kelly, President/CEO, Operation Unite

Take advantage of discounted rates by registering by February 28. For information about the Summit visit www.NationalRxDrugAbuseSummit.org, or follow news about the event at Twitter.com/RxSummit, Facebook.com/RxSummit, or LinkedIn.com/RxSummit.

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