U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, the Kentucky Congressman who has led various federal initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic, will be honored on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., by Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse (MAPDA) with the organization’s first Humanitarian Award.
“Hal was the first in Congress to recognize the threat to our country, our communities and our families,” MAPDA chairperson Mary Bono said in a news release. “His leadership is second to none when it comes to addressing the opioid epidemic.”
Rogers established Operation UNITE, a Kentucky initiative that empowers citizen groups and community leaders to battle drug abuse with a holistic approach that focuses on law enforcement, treatment and education. In 2012, Operation UNITE launched the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which is now produced by HMP’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Learning Network in collaboration with UNITE.
Rogers has also helped to establish a federal grant program to provide funding for prescription drug monitoring programs, which now exist in 49 states. In 2010, he and Bono, who was then a U.S. representative of California, launched the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. Rogers has also championed various bills to provide funding to battle the opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment, enforcement and research.