From The Narcotics Overdoes Prevention and Education Task Force (NOPE) in Palm Beach County:
On Thursday, October 27, Narcotics Overdose Prevention & Education (NOPE) Task Force will host its fifth annual Candle Light Vigil in West Palm Beach and in more than 50 cities across the U.S. to change the stigma of drug addiction and honor those who have died from drug overdoses.
Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi will give the keynote address in Palm Beach County. Joined by Chief Deputy Michael Gauger, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske will give the National keynote address via video to discuss the importance of drug prevention and education, which are both part of NOPE’s mission in educating children and their parents about the dangerous consequences of illegally using drugs, even once.
The main vigil is being held at the Gosman Amphitheater at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, near NOPE headquarters, where 400-600 people are expected to attend. A memorial wall at the vigil will show more than 500 photos, which represent some of the 28,000 people who die every year of drug overdoses.
The candlelight vigils show families’ love for their children regardless of the fact that their children died from addiction, or drug overdose. NOPE wants addiction to be treated as a disease and encourages people to treat those who are addicted to drugs with respect, love and dignity so those in need can seek help.
This year NOPE is partnering with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy because NOPE embodies the White House National Drug Control Strategy and Prescription Drug Abuse Strategy, which was released in April 2011 by President Obama and Director Gil Kerlikowske.
The National Drug Control Strategy reflects a comprehensive approach to reducing drug use and its consequences, endorsing a balance of prevention, treatment and law enforcement.
NOPE educates children in schools about drug abuse prevention. The organization teaches children and adults how to look for signs of drug addiction and drug use so if someone sees a child in trouble they can act appropriately and help. NOPE’s prevention program involves law enforcement all sectors of communities to recognize the signs of intervening early. The organization discusses the need for parents and the community to get involved early and break away from the stereotype that, “kids don’t listen.”
“The key to drug prevention is community awareness,” said Karen Perry, executive director of NOPE Task Force. “Many lives have been destroyed by substance abuse and the disease of addiction.”
Perry added: “Too often this disease is perceived as deserved and shameful, leaving families and friends to grieve in silence or an addict alone to struggle to recover. Only through awareness and openness we can eliminate the stigma that has followed the disease of addiction, opening the doors to recovery.”
Gosman Amphitheater at the Kravis Center
701 Okeechobee Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL
* A full list of cities/states hosting vigils is available upon request.
Thursday, October 27, 2010
7:00p.m. Vigil ET (About 90 minutes)
ABOUT NARCOTICS OVERDOSE PREVENTION & EDUCATION (NOPE) Task Force
The NOPE Task Force is comprised of local law enforcement officials, addiction and parenting specialists, and most importantly, parents and family members who have lost loved ones to an accidental overdose or drug and alcohol related incidents. NOPE works to save lives through dramatic personal presentations about the deadly consequences of drug abuse combined with ongoing efforts to influence anti-drug legislation and the provision of vital information about where young people with a substance abuse problem-and their families-can go for help.
For more information about NOPE or the Candle Light Vigil, go to www.nopetaskforce.org or call NOPE at 561-478-1055