ARC and Operation UNITE holding prescription drug abuse summit

The Appalachian Regional Commission has signed on as a partner with Operation UNITE to hold a national summit on prescription drug abuse next year.

The ARC works to develop the economy in Appalachian areas of 13 states. The agency cited the importance of a drug-free work force to economic development in its decision to get involved in the national summit.

"The abuse of prescription medications has a far-reaching impact on Appalachia," Earl F. Gohl, federal ARC co-chairman, said in a news release from Operation UNITE. "It devastates families, creates burdens for communities, and undermines the employability of the work force."

Operation UNITE, based in Somerset, arranged the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, scheduled for April 10 to 12 in Florida.

The summit will include sessions on efforts to deal with the nation's deadly prescription-drug problem though prevention, education, treatment and law enforcement.

People who attend the summit will have an opportunity to learn about successful approaches to fighting prescription-drug abuse, said Karen Kelly, director of UNITE. It also will be a chance to promote cooperation among groups dealing with the problem.

For more information about the Summit, call 1-866-678-6483 or go to