HAZARD — Congressman Hal Rogers held discussions in Hazard Thursday regarding two of the biggest health issues facing citizens of Appalachia; drug addiction and cancer. Rogers brought along two federal leaders from the National Institutes of Health to help lead the discussions.
Dr. Doug Lowy, Director of the National Cancer Institute, and Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse were present for a luncheon held at the ARH Medical Mall and also toured the Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky, as well as the Appalachian Regional Cancer Center.
Roundtable discussions were held during the afternoon at the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health. During the discussions, Volkow shared her extensive knowledge of the subject with attendees. Debby Terry, who is the Lead Peer Support Specialist with KRCC, also addressed the panel. Terry struggled with addiction for 30 years, and she now provides valuable insight into the issue of recovery.
Much attention has been focused on the drug epidemic in the mountains recently. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul also visited Hazard on Oct. 4 to address the issue. More people died last year of opioid abuse in Kentucky than car wrecks.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.