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Greg Bluestein

Barack Obama to headline drug abuse summit in Atlanta

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President Barack Obama speaks at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York on Monday at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. AP/Susan Walsh

President Barack Obama. AP/Susan Walsh

President Barack Obama will headline a prescription drug abuse summit in Atlanta on March 29 aimed at developing new guidelines for prescribing pain medications.

The White House said Tuesday that Obama will speak at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which is billed as the largest gathering of professionals and advocates involving prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse.

Traffic alert: President Obama visits Atlanta Tuesday March 29

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week issued new recommendations for primary care providers, who account for nearly half of all opioid prescriptions, to crack down on potential abuse.

Obama has proposed spending $1.1 billion request this year for new funding to expand access to medication-assisted treatment and counseling for opioid use disorders.

The White House also sent letters to every governor urging more state involvement in “turning the tide” of the drug and heroin epidemic. In his letter to Gov. Nathan Deal, the Obama administration said that Georgia and other states are “on the front lines” and urged federal lawmakers to act quickly on Obama’s budget request.

“We stand ready to work with you and your state to provide any technical assistance needed as you implement these best practices,” the Obama deputies wrote. “And we encourage you to share the progress you are seeing as a result.”