P.A.A.R.I. Attends White House Opioid Summit

WASHINGTON — P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade was among a select group that attended The White House Opioid Summit yesterday.

The event served as an opportunity to update key stakeholders on the status of the Trump Administration’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic following the president’s classification of the crisis as a national public health emergency last fall.

“P.A.A.R.I. is grateful to be invited to contribute to addressing this nationwide crisis,” Hunter McDade said. “Our sincere hope is that the administration will act quickly and adopt a strategy that heavily emphasizes expanding access to treatment rather than arrest and incarceration.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar committed to allocating $75 million to supply first responders with lifesaving nasal naloxone, a move P.A.A.R.I. has long called for and is hopeful will become a reality.

The Summit included two panels featuring cabinet secretaries whose departments are combating the crisis on all fronts.

P.A.A.R.I. supports federal efforts to interdict the supply of synthetic opiods into the U.S., which were discussed at length at yesterday’s summit.

P.A.A.R.I. remains primarily committed to creating and sustaining an environment in which those battling substance use disorders feel comfortable asking for help to begin their journey to recovery.

Hunter McDade added, “This is a complex issue that can only be brought under control through common-sense strategies, including escalated enforcement on the supply side and a compassionate and community-oriented solution for individuals and families trying to overcome the devastating affects of addiction.”