Apr 05 2017
WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers invited Nancy Hale, President and CEO of Operation UNITE to testify before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) about the importance of continuing the fight to save lives and combat the nation's drug abuse epidemic.
"Tragically, our commonwealth has been the epicenter for the explosion of opioid abuse: The drug overdose rate in Kentucky currently is more than 1.5 times higher than the national average. Rates in several counties are triple the national average," said Hale.
In 2015, more than 52,000 Americans died from a drug overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mrs. Hale shared details about Operation UNITE's multi-faceted approach as a national model for success.
"Congressman Rogers and other local leaders feared that if we did not take swift and decisive action, an entire generation would have been wiped out," said Hale. "Operation UNITE pioneered a holistic approach that has become a model for other states and the nation. Through collaborative partnerships, UNITE’s progress in our 32-county region is evident. Fourteen years later, more than 100,000 youth have participated in UNITE’s programs, tens of thousands of community members have volunteered, and more than 4,000 people have entered treatment using a UNITE voucher."
Mrs. Hale's testimony was an important part of the LHHS Subcommittee's budget hearing for federal funding in the coming year.
"It is important to share success stories with other leaders across the country to provide proof that federal funding is needed to continue the life-saving efforts of programs, like UNITE, and replicate their holistic efforts across the country to help fight illicit drug sales, improve education and prevention, and increase access to treatment and recovery nationwide," said Congressman Rogers.
To learn more about Operation UNITE, visit operationunite.orgClick here to watch the full hearing.