U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello hosted roundtable
discussion at MCCC’s West Campus on prescription drug abuse prevention
To help increase awareness to the growing opioid epidemic, U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello held a public roundtable discussion at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus on July 26.
Costello, as a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, has been working to find ways to prevent addiction and develop solutions to address different aspects of the issue, including educating the public and ensuring resources are available.
The panel included Executive Director Michael Barnes of the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence, Director of Prevention & Education Beth Mingey of Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems, President/CEO Robert Radie of Egalet Corporation and Dr. David Lichten of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
In his introductory remarks, Costello noted that there were nearly 2,500 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014. In March 2016, he helped to introduce legislation, H.R. 4697, the Drug Prevention Addiction Act, to increase prevention efforts to reduce this startling statistic. During the discussion, the panel spoke about the need to increase awareness of the epidemic, educate the public about how prescription opioid drugs can be misused and develop solutions to make treatments more accessible.
Furthermore, Mingey stressed the importance of using medications correctly and not combining medications, which often causes the overdose. She encouraged families to keep track of the medications in their home and properly dispose of unused medications at designated police stations and pharmacies.
Additionally, the panel discussed significance of following up with people after an overdose reversal to provide the appropriate long-term treatment and counseling. In recent years, the increasing availability of naloxone in Pennsylvania has saved thousands of lives from drug overdoses.
For more information about the Drug Prevention Addiction Act, visit https://costello.house.gov.
For questions and concerns about substance abuse, visit http://www.nopetaskforce.org or call 1-866-612-NOPE.