National Prescription Drug Abuse Conference Held in Orlando
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 18, 2012 – A national conference was held in Orlando, Florida, recently to bring together those involved in fighting the epidemic of abusing prescription drugs: medical professionals, lawmakers, and the law enforcement personnel who go after unscrupulous doctors and pill mills.
“These efforts to shut down pill mills are an important part of the fight against pharmaceutical negligence,” said Tampa personal injury attorney Robert Joyce.
“It is essential that we fight pill mills in every way possible,” said Joyce. “When a doctor prescribes a drug that causes catastrophic injury or death, that doctor may be liable for pharmaceutical negligence. It is important for the injured parties or their families to contact an attorney who can hold these unethical doctors accountable for the damages they caused.”
It was the first ever National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, and drew over 700 participants from 45 states. There were also visitors from several countries. Some of the keynote speakers were Dr. Regina Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General, Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, and Dr. Illeana Arias, Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control. In attendance were policy makers at the state and federal level, healthcare practitioners, substance abuse counselors, law enforcement personnel, legislators and many other concerned parties.
The event was organized by Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education, Inc.) This group was founded by Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, who was also one of the keynote speakers. UNITE was created to reduce drug abuse in communities through public education, drug abuse treatment, and support for those in need, including family members. The congressman said he was first inspired to create the organization after reading a newspaper article about the prevalence of prescription drug abuse in his home state of Kentucky. Initially he was upset by the article and didn’t believe prescription drug abuse could be so common in his own community.
However, his own investigation showed drugs like Oxycontin were actually causing significant social problems in his state, and elsewhere. Finally, he decided to start UNITE to address the problem using a holistic perspective. Congressman Rogers explained these background details in his opening address. He said the prescription drug abuse problem exists from Hollywood to Hazard, Kentucky. He also said more people in Kentucky are dying from drug-related incidents than from vehicle accidents, and the drugs are coming from Florida pill mills.
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