Rutledge Attends Legislation Signing Ceremony at White House to Combat the Opioid Crisis
October 24, 2018
Says, ‘Fighting the opioid crisis is a priority of mine as Attorney General’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today participated in a bill signing ceremony at the White House in the East Room where President Donald J. Trump signed legislation to continue the federal government’s commitment to combatting the opioid crisis.
“I was honored to join President Trump and represent Arkansans as he signed legislation that will directly help individuals impacted by opioid addiction,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Fighting the opioid crisis is a priority of mine as Attorney General. My office takes a multi-faceted approach to combatting this devastating epidemic by focusing on prevention, treatment and litigation.”
The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act is the largest legislative effort in history to address the opioid crisis. The legislation will help lift people out of addiction, help keep illicit drugs out of our communities, expand public awareness and prevention initiatives to stop addiction before it starts and save lives.
In October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national Public Health Emergency.
Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by suing Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Endo, opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.
Rutledge also partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs with more than 1,000 already registered.
Each year, Rutledge partners with federal and state agencies for the biannual National Take Back Day, coming up Oct. 27 at various locations throughout the State. Since 2016, more than 600 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas.
Prescription for Life features a digital platform to help high school students in the State understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. The self-paced modular course uses video, animations, simulations and interactivity to deliver a personalized, self-guided learning experience. The real-life simulations demonstrate the impact misuse can have on students’ physical and mental health, relationships and future goals while the scenario-based exercises help students practice how to support other students in their choices regarding the safe use of prescription drugs. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Education Standards and State academic standards.
In August, Rutledge announced a new initiative, #Rx4LifeStories, to allow Arkansans to talk about how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families.