Governor Sandoval announces prescription drug abuse summit

Published: May. 19, 2016 at 2:05 PM PDT
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Governor Brian Sandoval and First Lady Kathleen Sandoval have announced they will host a State Summit on Prescription Drug Abuse in June 2016. The summit will provide the opportunity for the First Lady’s Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force and subsequently the Multidisciplinary Prevention Advisory Committee (MPAC) to update the community on existing laws put into place as a result of the 78th Legislative Session and Nevada’s Strategic Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan.

“Nevada has established policies that have become national models in prescription drug monitoring and ongoing coordination between the public and private sector. I am proud of what we have accomplished, but there is more work to be done,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “This Summit will bring together all stakeholders as well as community advocates and leaders in a united effort to eradicate this growing epidemic and create safe and livable communities.”

The Summit will focus on four priority topics:

• Duties and responsibilities of healthcare licensing boards

• Overview of current coordination and opportunities for expanded collaboration with local, state and federal law enforcement

• Review of existing rehabilitation practices and substance abuse treatments

• Cooperation and oversight for private sector issues, including sale and availability of pharmaceuticals

In 2014, Governor Sandoval was tapped by the National Governors Association to lead the second round of its Prescription Drug Abuse Project as part of the association’s ongoing effort to reduce prescription drug abuse. Nevada was selected as one of seven states to send a delegation to participate in a policy academy on the topic.

As a follow-up to this academy, the governor established a Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force led by First Lady Kathleen Sandoval. The task force organized a statewide meeting that took place over two days and engaged approximately 200 stakeholders and other interested people. The Task Force recommended policy changes, and with Governor Sandoval, introduced and passed Senate Bill 459, which made substantial policy changes regarding prescription drug abuse prevention in Nevada.

The task force also developed a statewide action plan that relied on the use of data and evidence-based strategies for combating what the governor calls a public health and safety crisis. The State’s Substance Abuse Prevention Treatment Agency’s (SAPTA) Multidisciplinary Prevention Advisory Committee (MPAC) has been charged with leading implementation of the recommendations in the plan developed by the governor’s task force.