Leaders of the Medical Association of Atlanta have announced that the nation’s opioid epidemic, its impact on the people of Georgia, fighting addiction stigma and offering hope to both patients and physicians will be the subject of a town hall meeting in February. Patrice Harris, M.D., president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA) and chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force will be a panel member.
Recently, Georgia’s government filed a lawsuit accusing drug companies of swamping the state with pain-relief products and profiting from users’ addictions. The state attorney general said pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable for more than 1,000 opioid overdose deaths in Georgia in 2017. The nation’s Opioid crisis has cost thousands of lives and had an economic impact exceeding $1 trillion from 2001 to 2017, according to researchers.
New Hope for the Opioid Epidemic will be held at 10 a.m. February 9 at Emory University School of Medicine, 100 Woodruff Circle, Atlanta. The event is free and open to the public.
“As physicians, we have seen first-hand the devastating impact the opioid epidemic has had on communities throughout metro Atlanta,” said Martha Wilber, M.D., president of the Medical Association of Atlanta. “The MAA is committed to improving the health of Georgians and we hope through this town hall to help fight the stigma surrounding opioid addiction as well as offer education and hope to both patients and physicians.”
Speakers at New Hope for the Opioid Epidemic are scheduled to include Ira Horowitz, M.D., as moderator; Martha Wilber, M.D., president, Medical Association of Atlanta (MAA); Patrice Harris, M.D., president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA), Jim Langford, executive director of the GA Prevention Project; Allie Armbruster, offering A Story of Hope; and, Justine Welsh, M.D., program director, Emory Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment (EAST) Services, discussing medication assisted treatment, myths and reality.
Patrice Harris, M.D., president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA), is scheduled to be panel member. In June 2018, the AMA House of Delegates elected Harris, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, as its president-elect. Dr. Harris serves as chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force.