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The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a regional economic development agency, is taking a key role in the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in April. The summit will be held in Florida, which has been called the center of the nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic.

ARC will serve as Operation UNITE’s exclusive educational partner for the summit. Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) aims to fight substance abuse in Kentucky.

Many of the drugs diverted from Florida end up in the Central Appalachian region, according to ARC. The event will bring together stakeholders from around the nation to discuss prevention, education, treatment and law enforcement efforts.

“The abuse of prescription medications has a far-reaching impact on Appalachia,” ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl said in a news release. “It devastates families, creates burdens for communities, and undermines the employability of the workforce.”

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