Baltimore City Health Commissioner Presents at National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen joined President Obama Tuesday on a panel discussing strategies for addressing the opioid epidemic at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit.

Dr. Wen discussed the City’s innovative efforts to address the opioid addiction epidemic. The City’s multi-prong opioid prevention strategy includes expanding access to naloxone; a 24/7 hotline connecting residents to treatment and information; and an education campaign.

Dr. Wen and President Obama were joined on the panel by two individuals in long-term recovery. The panel was moderated by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

As reported in a Baltimore City Health Department news release:

“As an emergency physician, I have witnessed firsthand the effects of substance addiction on individuals and families. As Baltimore City’s doctor, I work every day with partners across our city to prevent overdose and stem the tide of addiction,” said Dr. Wen. “In Baltimore, under the leadership of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, we use science to counter stigma. We recognize that treating addiction as a crime is unscientific, inhumane, and ineffective. Addiction is a disease, treatment exists, and we all must play a role in preventing addiction and saving lives in our communities.”

Dr. Wen was joined at Tuesday’s Summit by a number of leading experts from across the country, including:

  • Vice Admiral Dr. Vivek Murthy— United States Surgeon General,
  • Dr. Tom Frieden— Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director,
  • Michael Botticelli—Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy,
  • Dr. Robert Califf—Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration,
  • Tom Vilsack—Secretary of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, and
  • Dr. Francis Collins— Director, National Institutes of Health

For more information read the full news release and visit the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit website.