Good morning, and welcome to the 2020 Prescription Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit. Thank you for making time in your busy schedule to participate in this important conference during these challenging times.
I’m coming to you from my home office in Phoenix. We had intended to gather in Nashville these next few days, but obviously the Coronavirus pandemic prevents that. Yet as our country grapples with this crisis, you and the stakeholders joining us this week know that this disaster will be particularly difficult for those with addiction and mental illness. While the country experiences a pandemic, you and your teams have been battling the ongoing addiction crisis. Our country is at risk of losing tens of thousands of lives to COVID-19, and yet we know that tens of thousands are also lost every year to overdoses.
That’s why it’s important, more than ever, for us to come together. Yes, we cannot shake hands or share a cup of coffee, but the spirit of fellowship and of working together must continue. This pandemic will peak and subside, and in its aftermath those with addiction – and thousands more newly at risk – will be looking to you for help. The Rx Summit is here to help you with that herculean task.
In the next few days you will hear from senior government leaders and experts from across the country. If you need a break or have other obligations, sessions are being recorded and will be available for a full year, along with continuing education credits. Please take time to contact our exhibitors and sponsors, whose support is essential to this week’s conference. In fact, those who network with our supporters online will be entered into a drawing for travel and accommodations at next year’s Rx Summit. Because we are committed to seeing you in Nashville next April, to highlight what’s working and to continue to address how you are successfully guiding people onto the path of recovery. Because coming together to share our successes as we address the opioid crisis is important. Because everything you do does indeed matter, and our mission, despite all the challenges, will continue.