A one-day event focused on the economic, health and criminal consequences of prescription drug abuse in Southwest Virginia will be held in November.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia is taking the lead in planning the Southwest Virginia Prescription Drug Abuse Summit on Nov. 14 in Wytheville.
“This is going to be straight talk about what it is doing to the communities and what we have to do and stop it,” said Brian McGinn, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office. “We can’t just go in and arrest every addict in town, that’s not going to help anyone.”
It’s the first time the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia has organized an event like this, McGinn said adding that it is free and open to the general public.
Among the topics that will be discussed are the business and economic consequences of the prescription drug abuse epidemic.
The region’s summit is independent of a larger effort by the Department of Justice to address prescription drug abuse.
On Monday, all the U.S. Attorney’s Offices announced they had joined the Partnership at Drugfree.org to promote a multi-year campaign aimed at curbing medication abuse. The Medicine Abuse Project campaign launches Sept. 23, according to a news release.
“The epidemic of prescription drug abuse demands a holistic response that includes prevention, enforcement, and treatment solutions,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy in the news release. “We must prioritize the identification and prosecution of health care providers and others who provide these medications without proper cause. We must simultaneously do all we can to educate people about the dangers of these drugs and provide help to those who are addicted. Nothing short of a full-court press will solve this persistent problem in Southwest Virginia.”
Registration is required for the summit by emailing USAVAW.firstname.lastname@example.org.