Obama to speak at heroin summit: follow Post’s live coverage

Hypodermic needles found in the trash at a cottage apartment by Jean Thomas, 83, in West Palm Beach's Prospect Park neighborhood. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)
(Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)

President Obama will join high-ranking members of his Administration at the National RX Drug and Heroin Summit in Atlanta this week to discuss ongoing efforts to address the country’s worsening opioid addiction epidemic.

Among other speakers: Michael Botticelli, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy; Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse; Chuck Rosenger, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration; and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak.

Palm Beach Post Reporters Christine Stapleton and Pat Beall will cover the event live from Atlanta. ┬áStapleton and Beall are members of a team of reporters that have been investigating scams in Palm Beach County’s $1 billion drug treatment industry

The 8-month long investigation by the Palm Beach Post uncovered patient brokering, insurance fraud and kickbacks. An FBI, multi-agency task force has been investigating the industry for two years. However, no charges have been filed.

The president’s appearance at the Summit on Tuesday 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.

“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.”



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