Actress Melanie Griffith will headline Operation UNITE’s third annual National Rx Drug Abuse Summit at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis next week. The organization was founded in 2003 by U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-5) to rid communities of illegal drug use, provide support to friends and family members of drug abusers and to educate the public about the dangers of using drugs.
Organizers expect this year’s summit to top last year’s attendance of nearly 1,000. “The Summit takes a holistic approach to the drug abuse epidemic, bringing together legislators, law enforcement, medical professionals, advocates, educators and many other leaders to focus on real solutions,” said Rogers in a press conference hosted by DBHDD Commissioner Frank Berry in January.
The Generation Rx Project (GEN Rx), a program of DBHDD’s Office of Prevention Services and Programs, will sponsor the summit. GEN Rx was created in response to the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse among youth and young adults in Georgia. The program’s objective is to reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse among 12-25 year olds within targeted Georgia counties, Catoosa, Early and Gwinnett. GEN Rx will have an exhibit booth at the summit and will be providing information about the project to attendees.
DBHDD Prevention Team Leader Christopher Wood will present at a workshop (“Building Local Capacity to Prevent Rx Drug Abuse”) during the summit. Wood will discuss programmatic approaches to prevent prescription drug misuse and abuse, and specifically those programs and strategies being utilized by GEN Rx. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, April 23 from 1:30–2:45 p.m.