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 October 16th, 2013  
St. Lucie County School Resource Deputies team up With Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education ("NOPE") for seventh annual candlelight vigil Oct. 24, Sheriff Mascara announces
For the seventh year in a row, St. Lucie County School Resource Deputies are teaming up with West Palm Beach-based Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education ("NOPE") for a candlelight vigil to heighten public awareness of the dangers of prescription painkillers, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

The vigil will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, at The Crossing Community Church's New Hope campus, 5200 Oleander Avenue, Fort Pierce, south of Midway Road: http://goo.gl/maps/rKseR

"Every day here in St. Lucie County we feel the devastating effects of prescription painkiller overdoses, many of which are fatal," Sheriff Mascara said. "This is a national as well as a local problem, and I urge St. Lucie County residents to stand with us and NOPE to make people aware of the dangers of powerful prescription painkillers."

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.

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