WHAT: Media is invited to join the Louisiana Department of Health's Opioid Action Summit and Town Hall discussion. The town hall session on Friday is open to the public.

The summit is designed to bring awareness to and share ways to respond to the national opioid epidemic, which has had devastating consequences for Louisiana and the nation. In 2018, there were more than 450 opioid-involved deaths, a 184% increase over 2012. Staff from across the Department will appear alongside state and national experts on opioid abuse.

WHEN

Wednesday, Sept. 4
    Time:    1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
    Topics:  Social Determinants of Addiction
                 Successful Interventions with First Responders and Law Enforcement
                 Helping Employers Confront the Opioid Epidemic

Thursday, Sept. 5
    Time:    9:40 - 10:40 a.m.
    Topics: Challenges of the Opioid Epidemic Within Specific Populations
                 Building Community Coalitions to Address the Opioid Crisis
                 Utilization of Peers in Recovery and Treatment Engagement
    Time:    2:10 - 3:10 p.m.
    Topics:  Addressing the Needs of High School and College Students
                 Changing Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in the Opioid Crisis
                 Integrating the Community Provider to Address the Opioid Epidemic

Friday, Sept. 6  
    This town hall style event, which will focus on harm reduction, is open to all members of the public
    and the media.
    Time:    8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
    Topics:  Faith-Based Approaches to Treatment and Recovery (Community Learning Session, 8:30 a.m.)
                 Harm Reduction Town Hall (in Grand Hall, 10:15 a.m.)

WHERE:  All sessions will be held at the Slidell Harbor Center
                100 Harbor Center Blvd.
                Slidell, LA 70461

WHY:  "Our communities are on the frontlines of the opioid crisis, and we need to arm them with the very best tactics to fight back. By bringing together a wide variety of stakeholders — engaging in brainstorming, idea sharing and developing action steps and strategies — everyone will be able to return to their communities empowered with the knowledge and skills to reduce opioid abuse and overdoses," said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health.

CONTACT:  Media are invited to cover the many panels and breakout sessions. However, space is limited. If you want to cover a panel, please contact Kevin Litten in the Bureau of Media & Communications at Kevin.Litten@la.gov to make arrangements.