Pres. Obama to speak in Atlanta for drug abuse summit

ATLANTA — President Barack Obama will be making a stop in Atlanta this month to speak at a conference centered on drug abuse.

The fifth annual National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit will be held on March 29 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel in downtown Atlanta.

"We are honored that President Obama will participate in the important discussion of combating prescription drug abuse and the heroin crisis," said Nancy Hale, President/CEO for Operation UNITE, the Summit's organizer. "His presence will help focus the nation's attention on the drug epidemic that is devastating families and communities across the country."

This follows his visit last year to West Virginia, where he announced a number of new public and private sector actions to address the epidemic, including a Presidential Memorandum on prescriber training and opioid use disorder treatment.

"The abuse of prescription medications and heroin has touched countless lives in our communities. Since 2003, Operation UNITE has risen to the challenge to address the scourge of drug abuse in Southern and Eastern Kentucky," said Congressman Hal Rogers, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse.

The 2016 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit is the largest national collaboration of federal, state and local professionals, and advocates seeking to address prescription drug abuse, misuse and diversion. This year the Summit has expanded its focus to address the emerging heroin crisis, which has been linked to the prescription drug problem. More than 1,600 people already have registered for the Summit, which will be held March 28 through March 31.