The centerpiece of Operation UNITE’s activities in April was serving as educational adviser for the 2017 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Atlanta.

More than 2,400 people from 48 states plus the District of Columbia and four countries registered for Summit. It is the largest national collaboration of federal, state and local professionals seeking to address prescription drug abuse, misuse and diversion.

“The Summit gave attendees access to learn first-hand from the nation’s top experts and advocates,” said Nancy Hale, president & CEO of Operation UNITE. “From science and research to advocacy to long-term treatment strategies, the Summit is preparing communities on how best to address the drug epidemic.”

There was also plenty of anti-drug activities in Kentucky. Operation UNITE released its monthly update on efforts to combat substance abuse in its 32-county service area. Highlights from April include:

62 tip line calls were received, bringing the total to 21,990 calls received since inception. People can report suspected drug activity toll-free by calling 1-866-424-4382.

Drug Courts

  • During April, there were 504 active participants in drug courts within the UNITE service area. Of those, 346 were employed and 104 were pursuing education.
  • The courts collected $7,841 in fines, restitution and court costs, along with $5,638 in child support in April. Since inception those totals are $1.435 million and $951,312, respectively.
  • There were 7,759 hours of community service completed by drug court participants.

Seven people entered treatment in April using a UNITE Treatment Voucher. Since inception, 4,201 have entered treatment.

Education/UNITE Coalitions
UNITE and its coalitions held a total of 203 activities, an increase of 29 percent compared to March. Activities included:

  • The Breathitt County coalition provided educational materials on a variety of substance abuse issues at the Breathitt County Community Expo, which was attended by more than 550 people. It also distributed 11 drug testing kits.
  • The Knox County coalition held the UNITE Buddy Bass Fishing Tournament and Rules dinner. There were 100 people in attendance for the dinner, and 200 people at the tournament.
  • More than 90 students attended two basketball camp events held by the University of Pikeville coach.
  • The Perry County coalition provided information at Hazard Community and Technical College’s Drug Free Spring Fling, which was attended by 150 adults.
  • The Pulaski County coalition assisted with sponsorship of three events that reached nearly 4,800 youth with information on how to prevent and combat substance abuse, suicide and bullying.