Community Prevention Manager Testifies on Capitol Hill
WARWICK, Rhode Island (May 24, 2011) - RISAS Community Prevention Manager Laura Hosley was in Washington D.C. today to give testimony on May 24th at 9:00am on "Responding to the Prescription Drug Epidemic: Strategies for Reducing Abuse, Misuse, Diversion and Fraud."
Hosley provided testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism on Capitol Hill. Senator Whitehouse presided as Chairman at the hearing.
As part of Hosley’s testimony, she spoke about successful, yet under-funded, community and school-based prevention efforts and RISAS student assistance programs in Rhode Island.
“Rhode Island is a small state, but we seem to show up in the top of the national statistics when it comes to substance abuse,” said Hosley. “In 2004, the last year the National Survey on Drug Use and Health asked about the non-medical use of prescription drugs, Rhode Island tied for 5th with two other states.”
According to Hosley, in 2008, when the same survey asked about the use of pain relievers non-medically, Rhode Island came in 7th. The latest Rhode Island SurveyWorks data showed that 11% of high school students have tried painkillers without a doctor’s prescription.
RISAS has been developing, establishing and implementing the Student Assistance Program (SAP) in Rhode Island public school settings since 1987. The program is based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) evidenced-based model, Project Success. This school-based alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse prevention/early intervention program is currently being implemented in 44-50 Rhode Island secondary schools.
In addition to Hosley, the witness list for the hearing included The Honorable R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; The Honorable Michele M. Leonhart, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration; and John Eadie, Director of the Prescription Monitoring Program Center of Excellence for Brandeis University of Waltham, Mass.