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Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of Drug Abuse Victims on Thursday

The fourth annual vigil at Largo Central Park will remember people who have died as a result of a drug- or alcohol-related overdose.

Thursday night's vigil in Largo Central Park will remember those who have died in Pinellas County from drug and alcohol related abuse.  A few families will share their personal stories of lost loved ones. 

Community members are encouraged, if they are comfortable, to bring a photo of a loved one for the memorial wall during the service. The vigil begins at 7 p.m. in the big, flat grassy area of Largo Central Park.

Guest speakers include Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Largo Mayor Pat Gerard, Pinellas County School Board Chairman Robin Wikle and Sixth Circuit Judge Dee Anna Farnell. Other participants are members of religious, government, school and private groups. 

The vigil brings attention to the epidemic in Pinellas County with drug, alcohol and particularily prescription drug abuse. The memorial service is for the community including: those who have lost friends and family, those battling addiction, and people who need to know they are not alone, said Laurie Serra of the Pinellas Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE). 

Pinellas County agencies continue to fight prescription drug abuse. Someone dies of a drug overdose every 32 hours in Pinellas County, according to Pinellas County officials. 

Freelancelot October 24, 2012 at 07:59 PM
What are the percentage of people who die from prescription drug abuse? I know 26% believe it is the most dangerous for kids in today's society. http://www.testcountry.com/usefullinks.html?page=919
Melissa Lattman October 25, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Based on the information from the county-- statistically every 32 hours in Pinellas County someone dies of a drug overdose (the PCC-TV show in this article talks about the numbers)
Pinellas Voter November 05, 2012 at 03:32 PM
It is ironic that Gualtieri is speaking at an event to remember all the people who died from drug overdoses when, as chief deputy, he allowed Pinellas County to become the oxycodone pill mill capital of the State of Florida four years in a row. Instead, he focused the PCSO narcotics unit on investigating Simply Hydroponics, a legal business in Largo, which was under surveillance for two years. Customers were investigated weather they were growing tomatoes or pot. Deputies posed as Progress Energy employees to gain access to private property and then lied to the State’s Attorney in order to gain warrants. Gualtieri speaking at this engagement comes across as so disingenuous…

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