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 October 10th, 2011  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara invites the public to attend fifth annual "Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education" vigil takes place Oct. 27
The NOPE ("Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education")Task Force will host its fifth annual National Candle Light Vigil on Thursday, Oct. 27 in St. Lucie County, according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"The vigil will take place in memory of the 28,000 United States citizens who die from accidental drug poisonings each year," Sheriff Mascara said. "The misuse of prescription drugs, particularly powerful painkillers, has become a national epidemic in communities throughout America, including St. Lucie County. That's why I strongly support the efforts of the NOPE Task Force. I urge members of the public to attend the Oct. 27 vigil."

The vigil will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Midway Road Church of Christ, 3040 West Midway Road, Fort Pierce.

Local community leaders will join together to light candles, bow their heads in a moment of silence, and view stories of young people who have died of drug poisoning, many from abusing and misusing prescription pills.

The St. Lucie County vigil is organized by Narcotic Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) Task Force and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. "Our organizations are committed to educating our children and adults about the growing destructive forces of drug abuse that have hurt countless communities," said Sheriff Mascara.

R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in a recent interview, "The 28,000 drug-induced deaths last year were greater than [from] gunshot wounds...And yet, it's very hard to get attention...People think about the drug problems that may flow into the United States from another country -- and these are coming out of medicine cabinets."

More information is available by contacting Deputy Lawrence Richardson, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, at 772-462-7300 or 370-8265, by calling NOPE's toll-free at 866-612-NOPE, or visiting the NOPE website at NOPETaskForce.org.

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