Today Congressman Hal Rogers is leading a delegation of Congressmen, healthcare experts, and nationally known spokespersons, to fight a major epidemic of Americans addicted to prescription drugs at the UNITE National Summit on Drug Abuse this week.
U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) continues his staunch efforts to curb the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the U.S. by teaming up with Operation UNITE, celebrities and national leaders at the 2014 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Atlanta, Georgia this week. This is the third year that the non-profit organization based in rural southeastern Kentucky has hosted this national conference, and with an estimated 1,100 individuals registered to attend, the event is on par to be the largest to date.
"Across the U.S., someone dies from a prescription drug overdose every 15 minutes and this has to stop. It isn't just happening in rural communities, it is a nationwide epidemic," said Rogers. "I applaud UNITE for leading the national discussion and bringing together, what is now, the largest collection of cross-discipline professionals in the country to share important information about drug trends, challenges in our schools and businesses, potential policy changes and solutions that can be duplicated in any community."
In an interview with the present writer, Congressman Rogers highlighted the importance of the summit, “Professor, we have over 1000 people gathered here in Atlanta to address this issue. There are experts from the NIH and the White House. I look forward to talking with you when I return to Washington as we continue to find ways to stop this epidemic,” Congressman Rogers said.
The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is being held April 22-24 at the Downtown Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia. Keynote speakers include actress Melanie Griffith; U.S. Representatives Hal Rogers (R-KY), Bill Keating (D-MA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Tom Price (R-GA), Nick Rahall (D-WV) and former Congresswoman Mary Bono; Governors Steve Beshear (D-KY) and Nathan Deal (R-GA); Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Chief Medical Officer of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA); Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA); State Attorneys General Jack Conway (D-KY), Sam Olens (R-GA), and Greg Zoeller (R-IN).
Last night, Rx Summit attendees had the opportunity to join Melissa Fitzgerald, former The West Wing actress and Senior Director of Justice for Vets; former U.S. Senator Max Cleland; and U.S. Army Sgt. Tommy Rieman for a special movie presentation for the acclaimed documentary Halfway Home - The Toughest Battle is Coming Home. After the movie, there was an open discussion about the struggles that many military veterans face when they return home.
On today at 12:30 p.m., Rogers will join Melanie Griffith, Dr. Tom Frieden and members of the Congressional delegation for a press conference about the prescription drug abuse epidemic. Congressman Roger’s assistant, Danielle Smoot, in speaking with Examiner.com, described the scene in Atlanta as being very busy as Congressman Rogers and his fellow Rx Summit attendees address this growing epidemic in America.
For more information about the conference, visit http://nationalrxdrugabusesummit.org or join the discussion this week on social media @RxSummit #RxSummit. You can also download the event's mobile app at http://eventmobi.com/rxsummit.
Congressman Rogers has agreed to do an interview with Examiner.com after the summit to provide Americans with the information obtained through the summit to fight this epidemic. Stay tuned.