Schuh named to national heroin/opioid task force

| March 8, 2016
Steve Schuh

Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel County Executive

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National League of Cities (NLC) today announced County Executive Schuh has been selected as a member of the joint NACo/NLC City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic. 

“I am honored to have been asked to be a part of a task force determined to address the heroin and opioid crisis that is affecting our entire nation,” said Schuh. “I look forward to being part of a national conversation on this public health crisis.”

NACo and NLC will each have a dozen county elected executives/commissioners and elected city officials on their joint national heroin/opioid prevention task force to take part in a 9-month study period.  

The two national co-chairs are Judge/Executive Gary Moore of Boone County, Kentucky and Mayor Mark Stodola of Little Rock, Arkansas.  NACo’s other representatives are:

  • Commissioner Matt Bell, Weber County (UT) – NACo Justice and Public Safety Committee representative
  • Commissioner Doug Corcoran, Ross County (OH) – President of Ohio Association of County Commissioners
  • County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County (PA) – Former member of U.S. House of Representatives
  • Dr. Vidya Kora, LaPorte County (IN) – County commissioner who is also a MD
  • Commissioner Waymon Mumford, Florence County (SC) – Former police chief and active in faith-based community as a minister
  • Supervisor Leticia Perez, Kern County (CA) – CSAC 2nd Vice President and former public defender
  • County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Erie County (NY) – National county leader in addressing crisis through public health perspective
  • Commissioner Greg Puckett, Mercer County (WV) – County commissioner and member of the Coalition Advisory Committee with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
  • Commissioner Judy Shiprack, Multnomah County (OR) – Vice Chair of NACo’s Justice and Public Safety Committee and former prosecutor and state legislator
  • Ex-officio – NACo President Sallie Clark, Commissioner from El Paso County, Colo.

The NACo-NLC task force aims to enhance awareness among local elected officials, facilitate peer exchanges and identify sound policy and partnership solutions.  Focusing on city-county collaboration, the task force will address policies and strategies for

  • Reducing prescription drug abuse
  • Exploring proven practices for community prevention and overdose response (including public health and family services issues)
  • Promoting public safety enforcement, proper medication disposal and supply reduction
  • Identifying effective treatment options.

The task force will produce the following deliverables:

  • Conduct at least two national dialogues where city and county elected leaders will explore the comprehensive issues related to this crisis, growing trends and proven responses.
  • Develop educational opportunities for counties and cities through special forums, educational workshops, webinars and other opportunities, and
  • Publish a national summary report of city-county collaboration, focusing on community prevention and overdose response, effective treatment options, public safety enforcement and supply reduction.

Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with more than 47,000 lethal drug overdoses in 2014.  This epidemic is driven largely by overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers (18,893) and deaths related to heroin (10,574).  There were 259 million opioid prescriptions written in 2012, which is more than enough to give a pill bottle to every American adult.

Blackwall Hitch

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