March 1, 2011
Atlanta summit on prescription drug abuse in Georgia
ATLANTA, GA - The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, and the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation are joining to host a summit to address the exponential growth of prescription drug abuse and addiction in Georgia.
The one-day summit, to be held at Georgia State University on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, will feature prominent speakers from law enforcement, public policy, health and medicine, and substance abuse treatment to explore the scope of the prescription drug abuse problem and steps that can be taken to address the problem. Media has been cleared to attend the entire summit and is welcome to use the summit and its speakers in coverage.
“The growth in prescription drug abuse has reached an epidemic level in Georgia with devastating consequences. Six times more Georgians died last year from prescription drug overdoses than from cocaine, heroin, meth, and all the hallucinogens combined. And new pill mills are popping up in Atlanta every day. This is more than just a law enforcement problem; it’s a public health problem.” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “This summit will convene a broad spectrum of our community to take an honest look at the many ways this epidemic impacts our lives, and the actions we must take to reverse this trend.”
The summit will take place at the Georgia State University Student Center, Speakers’ Auditorium, located at 44 Courtland Street, in Atlanta. The presentations will begin at 8:30am and conclude at 4:45pm.
The summit will include national and local law enforcement experts who are fighting the surge in prescription drug abuse, CDC and university researchers who are tracking and studying these trends, and doctors, pharmacists, and substance abuse providers who see the problems on the front line. Presentations during the summit will show:
- Abuse of prescription drugs is the fastest-growing segment for illegal drug use in the United States. More people abuse prescription drugs than the number of people who use cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin combined.
- Recent statistics show that the number of people who died in one year from overdoses of prescription drugs alone (508) is more than six times the number of people who died from overdoses of all other illegal drugs combined (86).
- The number of emergency room visits attributable to the abuse of prescription drugs increased by 97 percent from 2004 to 2008.
- The explosive increase in prescription drug abuse is of particular concern among teenagers. Recent statistics show that 1 in 5 teens reported that they have abused prescription drugs to get high, and 1 in 7 reported doing so in the past 12 months.
MEDIA NOTE: Media will have total access to this event. Individual interviews before, during breaks, and after the summit are encouraged. Public Affairs Officer Patrick Crosby will arrange the contacts.
For further information media should please contact Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.