On September 25 and 26, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration hosted the second annual DEA Family Summit on Fentanyl for families from across the country who have experienced the profound loss of a child due to a drug poisoning. U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and DEA Administrator Anne Milgram delivered the opening remarks where the Attorney General announced $345 million in grants to combat fentanyl.
“Your advocacy is a testament to your enduring love for those you have lost, and by sharing their stories you are honoring their legacies,” Attorney General Garland said during his remarks. “Across the Justice Department – from our agents here at DEA to all 94 of our United States Attorneys’ Offices – we are re-working to bring to justice those who endanger our communities with deadly drugs. Our continued commitment to you is that as we undertake all of this work, we will remember your loved ones. We do our work because of them – and to honor of them.”
“I am inspired every day by the families who have turned their grief and pain into action, working tirelessly to prevent other families from suffering the unimaginable loss of a loved one to a drug poisoning,” said Administrator Milgram. “This is a crisis that is going to take all of us working together to solve. Together, we can and will succeed. We will continue to save lives, raise awareness, make our communities safer and healthier, and work to reverse this devastating epidemic.”
Drug-related deaths are plaguing the nation and killing Americans at an unprecedented rate. Last year alone, it is predicted that 110,757 people died from a drug poisoning, with fentanyl and methamphetamine driving this record increase. Fentanyl and methamphetamine are more accessible and more widely available than ever before; anyone with a smart phone is a target of the drug cartels.
The Family Summit seeks to advance public awareness efforts in our communities to reverse the devastating drug poisoning epidemic and save lives from tragic poisoning deaths. These families and family-led non-profit organizations joined with the U.S. Department of Justice, DEA, and others to discuss the scope of current drug threats, learn how together we can further amplify community prevention efforts, and identify additional areas for future collaboration.
This year’s Family Summit began with an Evening of Healing reception on September 25 for families and representatives from family-led non-profit organizations to connect and receive presentations on overdose response strategy, working together to advance awareness, a remembrance tree activity.
The second day of the Family Summit – the Day of Action – included presentations, a panel discussion on how we work together and creating common ground, and breakout sessions on advocacy, community engagement, youth engagement, and media engagement.
Opening remarks from the Family Summit on Fentanyl are available here.
For more information on the Family Summit on Fentanyl, visit: DEA’s Family Summits on Fentanyl.
Families and parent organizations impacted by the poisoning epidemic who are interested in registering with DEA to join in DEA’s awareness efforts, please complete the Advocates for Change form and submit it to [email protected].
For resources to help parents talk to their kids about the dangers of drug use, please visit the Get Smart About Drugs website.
If you or someone you know needs help with substance use or mental health disorders, please visit DEA’s Recovery Resources page for list of resources.