Rutledge Announces Annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Summit
October 1, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the fourth annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Summit will be Nov. 3. The event, which will be held at the Hot Springs Convention Center, was established as a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Members of the general public may also attend and will have the opportunity to hear from experts regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment.
“Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in Arkansas that unfortunately many times leads to accidental death and the misuse of illegal drugs,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Preventing this abuse requires all of us – law enforcement, medical providers, pharmacists and the general public – working together. I am excited to welcome my friend and colleague from Indiana, Attorney General Zoeller, to the Natural State to offer his insight and expertise on this important topic.”
The all-day event will begin with breakout sessions to discuss resources available in Arkansas for prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment. Nearly 44,000 people die from drug overdoses each year, with more than half of those because of abuse of prescription drugs.
Rutledge will host the luncheon, which will include the keynote address from Zoeller, who is serving his second term as Indiana’s 42nd Attorney General. Zoeller created and serves as co-chair of Indiana's Prescription Drug Task Force, is a member of the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana, supports the expansion of School Resource Officers and serves as the National Association of Attorneys General Tobacco Committee Co-Chair. A priority of the Task Force is to advance legislation to help combat prescription drug misuse and diversion. Several Task Force accomplishments include its partnership with the Indianapolis Colts to heighten awareness of this epidemic; the launch of its “Train the Trainer” public outreach program; the free online course titled “The Opioid Epidemic and Indiana's Opioid Prescribing Law;” drug take back events; and, the 85-plus outreach seminars/webinars presented to prescribers statewide since the implementation of the opioid prescribing laws.
The afternoon session will include a presentation from Patrick Glynn with the Quincy Police Department in Massachusetts. Glynn will speak about the successes his department has had in utilizing the drug naloxone to assist individuals experiencing opioid overdose.
In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the Summit is being sponsored by the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy, Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas State Police, Benton Police Department, Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, Office of the State Drug Director, Rotary Clubs of Arkansas, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute.
To view the full agenda for the 2015 Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Summit, visit ArkansasAG.gov. Register at cji.edu/2015-arkansas-prescription-drug-abuse-summit/.