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NOPE Candle Light Vigil Raises Awareness of Drug Overdose Deaths

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Drug overdose deaths are a devastation that continue to dampen and wreck havoc on the lives of families throughout the nation.  This has become a public health crisis and it can not be ignored. On Thursday night, October 23 in West Palm Beach, Florida, Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) Task Force held the 2014 National Candle Light Vigil, one of which was out of an estimated 55 planned vigils held in 23 different states in the country.  The vigil happens annually during Red Ribbon Week to remember the lives lost to drug overdose deaths, as well as with the hopes to increase knowledge about the potential negative outcomes that may result from experimenting with substance like drugs and alcohol.

Raising Awareness of Drug Overdose Deaths at Vigil

The NOPE Task Force Candle Light Vigil provides this event as an opportunity for the public to come together to remember the individuals that lost their lives from drug overdose deaths and to the disease of addiction.  “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 prejudice that has followed the disease of addiction,” began NOPE Task Force official Karen Perry, as families, friends, and people of all ages gathered around to listen with lit candles.  Other speakers during the night included Jeff Kadel of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Chief Deputy Gauger of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, both of whom spoke about the perils that came with addiction as a result and the importance in gaining the best understanding possible of the disease.  A video also played the White House’s National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli, where he was featured expressing the consequences of drug use and his intentions on properly maintaining prevention as best as possible in terms of treatment.  Towards the end of the night, the Park Vista High School Choir performed with soloists and pianists, illuminating a night of memoriam for the lives lost to the disease of addiction.

Facts About Drug Overdose Deaths

With overdoses claiming the lives of 33,000 Americans annually, drug overdose deaths are more common than deaths associated with driving collisions.  Prevention of overdoses begins with awareness and bringing communities together because events like these allows integral information to be passed on the disease of addiction that can provide helpful resources for those in need.

Taking Action To Prevent: What can YOU do?

“The key to drug prevention is community awareness,” NOPE Vigil official Emil Naranjo began to explain.  “The misuses of alcohol and illicit drugs are well documented, but few realize the immediate and long-lasting consequences from even a minor miscalculation with prescription drugs.”  The best proactive measures to take would be to stray away from destructive decisions and negative choices.  Be sure to spread awareness of the consequences of experimenting with substances and break the stigma by holding a conversation about substance use disorders with the people around you.  Addiction and substance use disorders are chronic brain diseases that have proven consequential fatal outcomes.  Talking to your younger siblings, kids, and parents is crucial.  Make it a priority to lock up medications, watch your children take their prescriptions, and get rid of your old prescription bottles in appropriate disposal locations.

Do you struggle with the ability to put down a substance and don’t know where to turn?  Contact The Watershed today because change is possible.  Addiction is a disease that affects the mind and body, but it is treatable.  Recovery is possible including for you, so call The Watershed today at  1-800-861-1768 because you deserve to experience a life of freedom.

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