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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to Host Staten Island Roundtable Discussion on Pain Medication

SIPCW Executive Director Adrienne Abbate to Participate in Discussion about Overprescribing

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (August 8, 2016) – It is a story that has afflicted countless Staten Islanders: following an injury or accident, a person is prescribed and takes pain medication for acute pain that results in opioid addiction. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is working to prevent situations like this across America in the future.

On Tuesday August 9, 2016, Gillibrand will host a roundtable discussion at St. John’s University’s Staten Island campus focusing on U.S. Senate bill S. 2567, the Preventing Overprescribing for Pain Act, which would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue guidelines for the safe prescribing of opioids for the treatment of acute pain. Gillibrand is the cosponsor of this bipartisan legislation, along with Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

Adrienne Abbate, Executive Director of the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness and the project director of the Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA) coalition, was invited to participate in the discussion and offer her expertise and insight into this problem.

“We know that opioid dependence often starts with a prescription from a physician,” said Abbate. “Providing prescribers with resources to effectively treat acute pain and screen for potential addiction risk factors is a prevention strategy that we have been advancing at the local level. We applaud Senator Gillibrand for advocating for updated CDC guidelines to bring relief to this national epidemic.“

The CDC’s current guidelines focus solely on chronic pain, and do not offer guidance on acute pain. Many individuals become addicted to opioids after taking prescriptions for acute pain, following common injuries, accidents or minor surgery, such as breaking a bone or getting wisdom teeth extracted.

The bill was included in the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, which the Senate HELP Committee (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) passed unanimously in April 2016. Nonetheless, the bill has not come for a vote on the Senate floor, despite support from a plethora of healthcare and addiction organizations, including Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.

The roundtable will take place at 10am on the Grymes Hill campus.