|Linda Daschle Sheila Dwyer Melissa Maxfield Tom Daschle Julianna Smoot|
By contributor Donna Shor
“The family medicine chest is my fastest growing drug challenge," said White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, surprising his N Street Village Gala table-mates at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
“The only mortality statistic that is rapidly rising," he added, "is the death count of prescription drug abusers. Young people, especially, think because these pain killers, sleep medications and stimulants are legal, they are safe.They are not.
Even the drugs’ disposal can bring damage to the environment and to public health. We’re warning: Don’t flush discarded drugs away. Add them to cat litter or used coffee grounds in a disposable container with a lid and discard them with the trash.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was introduced by PBS commentator and syndicated columnist Mark Shields and received the Founders' Award along with Honorary Board Member Carol Wheeler. Both lauded the work of N Street Village last year in caring for 46 % of Washington’s single homeless women.
Melissa Maxfield was the Gala Chairwoman (Comcast Senior Vice President of Congressional and Federal Government Affairs) with Diane Enzi and Juliana Smoot as co-chairs. Gwen Ifill emceed for the audience which included numerous Congressional members; so don't be surprised if they introduce 'kitty litter' legislation.