Mayor's Office Press Release

10th Annual Community Drug Awareness Day Conference Focuses on Opioid Addiction, Prevention, Treatment, and Community Attitudes Toward Substance Use

August 1, 2019 -- The public is invited to attend the 10th annual Community Drug Awareness Day Conference focusing on opioid addiction, prevention, treatment and community attitudes toward substance abuse.

Today, our country’s most pervasive drug threat is the opioid overdose epidemic, which has been spurred on by the nonmedical abuse of prescription pain medications and heroin.  This widespread outbreak is devastating and destroying communities throughout our country .  It cuts across all demographics and socio-economic classes, including adults and adolescents.  In cities and towns across the United States, millions of people now have a substance abuse disorder involving prescription pain relievers or opioid addiction that have a major impact on the Criminal Justice system.

WHEN: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. / Friday, August 2, 2019

WHERE: Houston Community College/Central Campus (Auditorium), 1300 Holman St. Houston, TX 77004

WHO: Prevention, treatment, law enforcement and criminal justice personnel, persons in recovery, faith community and others who want to learn more about drug supply and demand challenges, as well as our regional efforts to address substance abuse and how to become part of the solution.

WHAT: An educational audience interactive conference to provide the latest information on substance abuse and drug challenges within our community and collectively what we are going to do about them. The objective is to develop a regional multi-year drug strategy, key topics include:

  • Texas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program: Dr. Douglas Thornton UH -Pharmacy Health Services & Research
  • Lack of Community Infrastructure across substance use services: Jane Barnes, Memorial Herman Prevention & Recovery Center
  • Youth Prevention Programs and Community Coalitions: Juan Carlos Rangel, CoSAP
  • Criminal Justice Diversion Programs: Trina Willis, Harris County Courts

WHY: To exchange, share and gather the latest information on substance use disorders in order gain a better understanding of attitudes, behaviors and beliefs about drugs in our city and community. To design and implement an all-inclusive comprehensive action strategy targeted on multiple fronts to enhance and improve the quality of life for Houston and Harris County residents. No cost to attend. Free CEUs for LCDC, LPC, social work, and TCOLE credits will be provided.

On an average day in America:

  • In 2018, 192 per day die because of drug overdose.  Of these 68% were opioid related.
  • In 2017, Harris County recorded 648 substance abuse related deaths. 310 had opioids in their system.
  • In 2017, Harris County recorded 648 substance abuse related deaths. 310 had opioids in their system.

Elected and appointed officials, along with community leaders and are leading the effort to reduce the demand for such drugs, as well as develop a multi-year strategy to educate, provide treatment, for various populations impacted in the public on the devastating effects it has caused citizens of Houston and Harris County.