2016 Summit

The 2016 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit – held March 28-31, 2016, at The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia – drew more than 1,900 participants representing 49 states, the District of Columbia, two U.S. Territories (Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands) and four countries in addition to the United States (two Canada Provinces, Kenya, Lebanon and Taiwan) to focus on ways we can all “Make an Impact” in the fight against Rx opioid and heroin abuse.

President Barack Obama, Dr. Leana Wen, Crystal Oertle, Justin Riley and Dr. Sanjay Gupta

President Barack Obama, second from right, announced new initiatives and thanked the efforts of Operation UNITE during a panel discussion at the 2016 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta March 29, 2016. Panelists were, from left, Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner; Crystal Oertle, a mother in recovery from rural Ohio; and Justin Riley, President/CEO of Young People In Recovery. Moderating the panel, far right, was Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN.

Conference programming featured thought-providing presentations by more than 200 experts and leading advocates in 10 Educational Track focus areas tailored to provide stakeholders timely and relevant information for their particular field: Advocacy, Clinical, Federal, Heroin, Law Enforcement, Pharmacy, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), Prevention, Third-Party Payer and Treatment.

2016 Keynote Presenters

Keynote presenters included: Barack Obama, President, United States of America; Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); Michael Botticelli, Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Dr. Robert Califf, Commissioner, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA); Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH); Eli Capilouto, President, University of Kentucky; Kana Enomoto, Acting Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); Dr. Tom Frieden, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the Honorable Joe Manchin, U.S. Senator, West Virginia; Vice Admiral Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General; the Honorable Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor, State of West Virginia; and Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

In addition, a bi-partisan Congressional Leaders Forum included: the Honorable Ed Markey, U.S. Senator (D-MA); the Honorable Earl “Buddy” Carter, U.S. Representative (R-GA, 1st District); the Honorable Paul Gosar, U.S. Representative (R-AZ, 4th District); the Honorable Frank Guinta, U.S. Representative (R-NH, 1st District); the Honorable Evan Jenkins, U.S. Representative (R-WV, 3rd District); the Honorable William R. “Bill” Keating, D-MA, 9th District); and the Honorable Harold “Hal” Rogers, U.S. Representative (R-KY, 5th District), founding co-chair Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse.

2016 Summit At A Glance

  • Listen to audio recordings of the Breakout sessions, watch videos of the General Session programs, and download copies of the PowerPoint presentations. PPTicon-web AudioIcon-web Pdf icon  Click here.
  • View photos of the 2016 Summit. FlickrLogo-web  Click here.

A total of 12 Vision Sessions were offered providing in-depth examination of innovative programs and strategies designed to mitigate and resolve issues related to Rx drug abuse an heroin use across the country. Session presentations were provided by: American Medical Association (AMA), Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Appriss, CAL Laboratories, Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence (CLAAD), Community Venture/eHome America, Educational Alliances in Clinical Medicine, Health Information Designs, National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), University of Kentucky HealthCare, and WestCare Foundation.

Four Pre-Summit Workshops were offered: Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), A CDC Training: Using Digital and Social Media to Influence the #RxProblem; Empower Veterans Program: Innovative Functional Rehabilitation for Chronic Pain; and Investigating and Prosecuting Pill Mills.

Eight Thought-Leader Roundtables designed around peer learning and actively encouraging participation from each attendee were provided on the following topics: Abuse Deterrent Opioids: Is Legislation Necessary?; Engaging Healthcare Professionals for Lifelong Learning about Heroin and Rx Drug Abuse; Prevention and Transition to Heroin: Engaging the Prevention Community; Abuse of Rx Drugs on College Campuses; Beyond the “Thin Blue Line”; Impacting Youth: Recovery High Schools; Investigating and Overcoming Barriers to Second-Chance Opportunities; and What Makes for Effective PDMP Programs?

New in 2016 was the unveiling of a “Life Counts Clock” which reflected the number of estimated opioid-related deaths that have occurred this year using 2014 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This data shows approximately 78 individuals die per day, or about one death every 20 minutes.

Once again, in 2016 the Summit collaborated with Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), which held its third marijuana education conference on the Summit’s final day.

The Rx Summit had six primary partners/sponsors – Appalachian Regional Commission (education), National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (law enforcement), Appalachia HIDTA (law enforcement), New York/New Jersey HIDTA (law enforcement), University of Kentucky HealthCare (research), and Pikeville Medical Center (healthcare). In addition there were 24 event sponsors.

A total of 43 companies or organizations showcased their products or services during the Rx Summit.

Conference attendees included: Federal and state legislators and policy makers; federal and state executive leaders; health care practitioners; pharmacists; certified substance abuse counselors and recovery specialists; law enforcement personnel; treatment facility managers; advocates, families, and patients working to increase awareness and effect change; pharmaceutical executives; prominent academicians and researchers; government officials tasked with regulatory oversight; insurance payers and benefits managers; and suppliers of prescription monitoring technologies.