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WASHINGTON—As part of governors’ ongoing effort to reduce prescription drug abuse, the National Governors Association (NGA) today announced the selection of four additional states Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin to participate in a policy academy on the topic. Earlier this year, NGA announced the second round of its Prescription Drug Abuse Project would be led by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, whose states also will participate.

The abuse of prescriptions drugs is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. The selected states will join Nevada and Vermont in developing comprehensive statewide action plans that rely on the use of data and evidence-based strategies for combating this public health and safety crisis.

Over the course of the next year, selected states will:

  • Participate in two, two-day meetings with other policy academy states;
  • Convene an in-state workshop facilitated by NGA Center for Best Practices staff;
  • Develop a strategic plan for reducing prescription drug abuse;
  • Participate in regular conference calls and other networking activities; and
  • Receive customized ongoing technical assistance from NGA staff and national experts.

“We are united by a common goal to reduce prescription drug abuse,” Gov. Sandoval said. “Bringing states together will help each of us learn ways to combat this growing problem. It is an honor to serve as co-lead on this timely and important issue.”

“Communities across the country continue to be affected by the abuse of prescription drugs,” said Gov. Shumlin. “That is why this initiative remains so important for governors. As the leaders of our states, our primary concern is for the health and safety of our citizens.”

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and NGA Vice Chair Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper previously led the Prescription Drug Abuse Project. During the NGA Winter Meeting, they released a paper with lessons learned from the first policy academy, Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse: Lessons Learned from an NGA Policy Academy. To learn more, please visit www.nga.org/cms/Rx.