In the war on addiction prescription drugs have proven to be the number one offender, affecting just about every community in America. While certain states are making a lot of headway on curbing the epidemic with the advent of prescription drug databases, the problem is still ever growing. Over prescribing and a lack of education with regards to how dangerous prescription drugs are compared to illegal drugs has added to the problem.
The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit will be held this coming April in Florida, which has been identified as the center of the nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic. At the summit the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a regional economic development agency, is taking a key role. ARC will serve as Operation UNITE’s exclusive educational partner for the summit. Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) aims to fight substance abuse in Kentucky.
A lot of the prescription drugs prescribed in Florida end up in the Central Appalachian region, according to ARC. “The abuse of prescription medications has a far-reaching impact on Appalachia,” ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl said in a news release. “It devastates families, creates burdens for communities, and undermines the employability of the workforce.”
This ever growing problem is one that every state needs to work together to fight otherwise it is too easy for illegal distributors of prescription drugs to slip through the cracks. Fortunately, states in particular regions of the country have begun compiling their databases in order for each state to combat the problem more effectively. It is far too easy for people to doctor shop, as well as cross state lines to get prescriptions that they plan to fill in their own state – known as “drug tourism.”
The event will bring together stakeholders from around the nation to discuss prevention, education, treatment and law enforcement efforts.