ATLANTA, GA – The eighth annual National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit kicked off Monday, April 22, in Atlanta, Georgia, bringing together a record crowd of more than 3,500 people from across the country to address the public health crisis on opioids.

The four-day conference was launched by Congressman Hal Rogers and Operation UNITE in 2012 to drive life-saving solutions and end the deadly scourge plaguing American families. The summit has garnered participation from community advocates and professionals in medicine, justice, education, and federal government leaders, including this year’s special keynote speakers, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

“This public health crisis has damaged our nation and ripped families apart. More than 70,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2017 alone and sometimes it’s hard to find hope in the midst of America’s deadliest drug epidemic,” said Congressman Rogers. “However, Operation UNITE leaders were determined eight years ago to reach across state lines and share best practices with other communities looking for life-saving solutions; and each year at this summit, a little more hope shines through as we see shifts in more access to treatment, better policy and legislation, and more prevention programs.”

In addition to the President and First Lady, keynote speakers this year include: James Carroll, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse; U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Charles Ray; a bipartisan delegation of U.S. Representatives including, Susan Brooks (R-IN), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), and David Trone (D-MD). Several Kentuckians will also participate in the summit including: Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley; Former Governor of Kentucky Dr. Ernie Fletcher; Dr. Ashish Vaidya, President of Northern Kentucky University; and Dr. Eli Capilouto, President of the University of Kentucky.

For more information about the summit, visit