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Rx Summit Day One: Connecting with "Anchors of Hope" in the Opioid Crisis

Yesterday marked the start of the 2018 National Prescription Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. This year, S.A.F.E Project US staff are gathered with more than 2,900 people representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and six other countries (Austria, three provinces of Canada, Great Britain, Mexico, Netherlands and Nigeria) at the Rx Summit, all focused on saving lives and combating the opioid crisis. As U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-5th) said in his keynote, "You’re the anchor of hope in your area and for the next generation, and hope is what draws us together every year.” 

In 2003, Rogers, who is also the founding co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, launched the not-for-profit Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) to combat substance abuse in 32 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky. The Rx Summit began in 2012 under the leadership of Operation UNITE and Rep.Rogers.

Since that time, the Summit has grown to be the primary annual gathering for stakeholders to discuss what’s working in prevention and treatment. Over four days, S.A.F.E. Project US staff and Rx Summit attendees will hear from national experts and local leaders on how they are accelerating success in their communities.

Monday's workshops included a deep dive into Data-Driven Initiatives to End Overdoses, including a fascinating presentation from Jeff Beeson, Deputy Director of the Washington-Baltimore High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program about the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP), a web-based tool created by the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA. ODMAP provides real-time overdose surveillance data to public health and S.A.F.E partners. The system links first responders on scene to a mapping tool to track overdoses to stimulate real-time response and strategic analysis across jurisdictions. The tool, released in January 2017, is now live in 27 states supporting over 300 agencies nationally. 

Check out the agenda for the Rx Summit here. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @SAFEProjectUS and #RxSummit.