The Franklin County Prevention Coalition, in collaboration with local, state and federal partners, will be hosting a medical professional forum to address prescription drug abuse on Thursday, June 12, at the Winchester Church of Christ.
The coalition is a community partnership that brings people and organizations together to educate and reduce substance abuse and violence in Franklin County.
The medical forum is a one evening event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. p.m., designed to address the causes, recognition and preventive measures available to healthcare professionals.
Prescription drug abuse is at epidemic proportions. In 2009, about 1 million emergency department visits were attributed to prescription drug abuse.
In the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, it estimated 2.4 million individuals in the United States used prescription drugs non-medically for the first time.
Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young said that this problem is growing, and it will take a community effort to address the issue.
“We are working closely with federal and state officials to address the prescribing practices of certain medical practitioners that result in many unnecessary deaths,” he said. “It is extremely important to our community that we get out in front on this before it escalates anymore.”
Many individuals are affected by prescription drug abuse, however youth, older adults and women may be particularly susceptible.
“Over the last year, we in Franklin County have responded to 16 deaths associated with prescription opiate overdose,” Young said. “Prescription overdoses have taken over nationally as the leading killer of citizens, we are very troubled by this trend and are working diligently to address this problem.
“Prescription opiates are very addictive and encourages the importation of heroin into the area to feed the addiction.”
The identification and prevention of prescription drug abuse is a problem that requires the proactive attention of all medical professionals.
Who should attend
The primary audience with decision making responsibilities include hospital administrators/managers, physicians (hospital and community based), nurses and nurse practitioners (hospital and community based), pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, public health officials, pre-hospital providers, dentists, first responders (law enforcement, fire and EMS) and emergency planners.