ATLANTA (April 18, 2017) — Addiction researchers, clinicians, intervention coordinators and health policy leaders representing the University of Kentucky and UK HealthCare are leading workshops and discussing initiatives to combat the opioid crisis during the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, April 17-20, in Atlanta.
The annual summit is the largest national collaboration of professionals from local, state, and federal agencies, business, academia, treatment providers, and allied communities impacted by prescription drug abuse and heroin use. It was introduced in 2012 under the leadership of Operation UNITE and U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-5th) with the purpose of ridding communities of the burden of illegal substance abuse through comprehensive approaches. Kentucky's rate of opioid overdose death remains above the national average, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting 1,273 Kentucky overdose deaths in 2015.
The University of Kentucky is leading the charge to combat prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction in America. Last year alone, investigators in the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research received $9.6 million for projects dedicated to substance abuse and addiction. Since 2010, the National Institutes on Drug Abuse has awarded more than $92 million to UK research projects. UK HealthCare supports the summit through sponsorship.
“The opioid epidemic is far-reaching and multi-faceted, leaving a void in each family and community it scars. Kentucky families, and communities throughout Appalachia, know the devastation and havoc of addiction. That’s why this question is critical to UK researchers who lead the research, health care and policy questions surrounding opioid abuse,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “UK is uniquely positioned to confront these questions because of its multi-disciplinary research endeavors, leading academic medical center and regional referral network deployed to confront the scourge of opioids. We’re committed to working in – and with – communities to help navigate the complex nature of critical policy changes and effective health care implementation.”
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue