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 October 11th, 2012  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara invites the public to attend sixth annual Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education ("NOPE") candlelight vigil
 
The NOPE ("Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education") Task Force will host its sixth annual National Candle Light Vigil on Thursday, Oct. 25, in St. Lucie County, according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"Each year, America loses 28,000 people to drug-induced deaths," said Sheriff Mascara. "The national epidemic of the abuse of powerful prescription painkillers is felt every day here in St. Lucie County. I urge the people of our community to take a stand by participating in the Oct. 25 vigil and supporting the work of NOPE."

The vigil will begin at 6:30 p.m. at The Crossing Community Church, 5200 Oleander Ave., 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 the Narcotic Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) Task Force and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. "We are committed to educating people of all ages about the growing destructive forces of drug abuse that have hurt countless communities," said Sheriff Mascara.

Former Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske, who currently serves as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has said that more people die each year from drug-induced deaths than from gunshot wounds. He also said, "People think about the drug problems that may flow into the United States from another country -- and these (abused prescription painkillers) are coming out of medicine cabinets."

More information is available by contacting Shelia Randazzo, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, at 772-462-3264, by calling NOPE's toll-free at 866-612-NOPE, or visiting the NOPE website at NOPETaskForce.org.

Here is a locator map link to the Crossing Community Church where the vigil will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27:

http://goo.gl/maps/fI3i1

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