The University of Nebraska Medical Center, U.S. Attorney for Nebraska, and the state attorney general and health department are convening a conference on opioid drug abuse.
The Oct. 14 conference on the UNMC campus is designed to prevent the problem from worsening in Nebraska.
Attorney General Doug Peterson wants law enforcement, medical professionals, and social service providers to get on the same page.
“And look at how can we get in front of this, so we don’t have a crisis in Nebraska,” Peterson tells Nebraska Radio Network. “We’re looking at ways for prevention. We’re looking at ways to best address it from a law enforcement perspective. Ways to best treat those who are addicted.”
Peterson says the state’s new drug monitoring program is designed to rein in prescription drug abuse.
However, he says once that happens, some addicts will turn to the street for the drug, and he wants to get ahead of that problem.
“The strength of the (street) drug, through fentanyl either being mixed in with the heroin or just straight fentanyl, is getting so strong,” he says. “It’s being manufactured primarily in China. That’s why we’re seeing more and more overdoses around the country.”
The summit, “Charting the Road to Recovery: Nebraska’s Response to Opioid Abuse,” will focus on prevention, treatment, and law enforcement with the public health, medical, and law enforcement communities in Nebraska collaborating on the effort.
Speakers at the event include Brad Schimel, Wisconsin Attorney General, John H. Armstrong, M.D., former State of Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, Jeff Stamm, Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Director, and Scott Collier, DEA Diversion Program Manager.
“Everyone is committed that this just not be a one-time event, everyone pat each other on the back, and leave,” Peterson says. “The goal is that we get together and develop long-term strategies, working among these three parties to be the most effective.”
The Summit, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education on the UNMC campus in Omaha.
The conference registration and agenda are HERE.