Third Annual County Drug Abuse Summit A Success

Nearly 150 concerned members of the public gathered recently to explore the current state of mental health and drug abuse at the third annual Palm Beach County Drug Abuse Summit.

The free discussion was open to the public, thanks to co-hosts the Hanley Center Foundation, the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation. It included panels featuring prominent members of the healthcare and law enforcement communities, scientists, elected officials, educators and other community leaders.

The half-day discussion took place at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience on Dec. 9.

“The Palm Beach County Drug Abuse Summit’s mission is to effectively inform and educate the local community about the impact of mental health and substance abuse,” said Dr. Rachel Docekal, CEO of the Hanley Center Foundation. “The partnership between so many different agencies was impressive. We are grateful to our co-hosts and the esteemed panel participants, who recognize the importance of collaboration to improve awareness, treatment options and community education. We hope this event incites a continued impactful discussion of issues and solutions.”

In its third year, the summit continues to grow. Presented in the past by Hanley Center Foundation and the PBSO, the addition of the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation allowed for an expanded conversation to include mental health issues.

“Disease is personal — whether it is you, your spouse, your child, a friend or neighbor,” said Barbara Suflas Noble, CEO of the Max Planck Foundation. “Our researchers are committed to doing their part to impact our local community, which is why we were proud to co-host this important and necessary event, and we are grateful to the Hanley Center Foundation for initiating this collaboration.”

The summit had three different panel topics, with several different experts featured in each panel, moderated by WPTV News Channel 5 anchor Michael Williams.

The presenting sponsor was Florida Power & Light Co. and the corporate sponsor was Origins Recovery Centers.