May 01, 2017

ABA meeting will shine a light on hidden epidemic of seniors and opioid addiction

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2017 — The American Bar Association Senior Lawyers Division will host its 2017 Spring Meeting at National Harbor in Maryland May 4-6 with programs focusing on the growing epidemic of seniors’ misuse of prescription and illicit drugs. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh will share how the state is battling the opioid addiction crisis and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III will discuss how his county has created a holistic response to the challenge. 

2017 Spring Meeting
Sponsored by the ABA Senior Lawyers Division

Thursday – Saturday, May 4-6

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street
Oxon Hill, Md. 20745

In March, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in response to the opioid-addiction crisis and accidental drug overdose deaths in Maryland, and has committed $50 million to increase prevention, treatment and enforcement efforts.   On Friday, May 5, Frosh will speak at the program, “Battling the Opioid Addiction Crisis in Maryland” at 10:30 a.m. in Chesapeake rooms 10-12. Baker will speak about the efforts of law enforcement, social services and the health department at the program, “Prince George’s County Responds to Drug Abuse” at 12:30 p.m. in Chesapeake rooms 1-3.

Other conference highlights include:

  • “Understanding Trends in Opiate Misuse among Older Adults” — The session will provide an overview of the current research and provide a medical perspective of the opioid abuse among older adults. The discussion will focus on rates, risk factors and associated healthcare use and costs. The speaker is Dr. Mary W. Carter, the gerontology program director at Towson University. Friday, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Chesapeake 10-12
  • “Legal Resources Available Before a Crisis Hits Your Family” — The session explores the frustration that family and friends can feel when a loved one has a substance abuse problem. Available legal resources for people with diminished mental capacity will be discussed, in addition to how lawyers can help protect the person’s assets. The speaker is Karren Pope-Onwukwe of the Law Office of Karren Pope-Onwukwe. Friday, 1:45- 3 p.m., Room: Chesapeake 10-12
  • “Eldercaring Coordination and Other Tools to Help Families” — The closing session will focus on the stress of caring for a person with substance abuse issues. An addiction can put a person’s living arrangement at risk, cause financial problems and worsen health conditions. Families are able to look to the courts for solutions to better manage the situation; however, there are limitations. The session will discuss strategies that can be applied to address the issue and explore new initiatives, such as eldercaring coordination and supported decision-making.  The presenter is Karen Campbell, executive director, North Florida Office of Public Guardian, Inc. Friday, 3-4 p.m., Chesapeake 10-12

The complete Spring Meeting program can be found online.

The event is open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Betsy Adeboyejo at

The ABA Senior Lawyers Division serves lawyers and judges, promotes professionalism in the law and is the ABA’s knowledge center for elder law, and assists lawyers and judges transitioning in their careers. The entity’s membership includes practicing senior lawyers, elder law practitioners, solos, judges and young lawyers and law students.

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