The third annual meeting will bring together health officials, doctors, educators, drug treatment providers and others to discuss ways to fight the problem, a group of politicians announced at the Georgia state Capitol.
Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in Georgia and across the county, Deal said in a statement. He mentioned that the Georgia Pain Management Clinic Act, which was passed last year, was a method state lawmakers supported to try addressing the issue. The legislation requires licenses and regulations for pain management clinics, and requires the owners of these types of clinics to be doctors.
“We have made progress, but there is still much to be done,” Deal said. “We as a state look forward to hosting the Summit and bringing together experts to discuss new ways to combat abuse.”
The Atlanta Marriott Marquis will host this year’s summit. Two previous meetings were held in Florida.
“After Florida passed legislation in 2011 cracking down on pill mills, drug dealers moved up Interstate 75 and opened up shop in Georgia. It was imperative that we put a law in place to address the onslaught,” Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said in a statement.
Among this year’s scheduled speakers at the summit is the actor Matthew Perry, formerly a star on the sitcom “Friends.” He has acknowledged past struggles with prescription drug abuse.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has partnered with the summit for the past two years and its director, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, is scheduled to be a keynote speaker at this year’s event.
More than 15,000 Americans die annually from prescription painkiller overdoses. CDC officials have said the problem has become an epidemic in the last decade.