Director of Communications
National Center for State Courts
(Williamsburg, VA) August 31, 2016 — Judicial officers and other government officials representing nine states recently participated in a summit to explore ways to coordinate efforts in the battle against opioid drug abuse. The summit was organized by the Supreme Court of Ohio and held in Cincinnati, Aug. 24 – 26.
“The importance and effectiveness of integrating opioid prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery efforts across government and state lines cannot be overstated,” Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said.
The participating states were those most affected by the opioid epidemic: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The summit’s priorities included identifying best practices for testing and treatment services and increasing access to prescription drug data.
Discussing the effect opioid abuse has had on communities, Chief Justice O’Connor stressed that anti-drug efforts must go beyond arrest, jail, and release, which have only led to high rates of repeat criminal behavior and incarcerations.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, West Virginia had the highest number of deaths from drug overdoses compared to all 50 states in 2014, with Kentucky ranking 4th, and Ohio 5th.
The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.
National Center for State Courts, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147