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Prescription Drug Abuse Still a Focus for Pinellas County

The county has created a four-part series called 'Fighting Back Against Prescription Drug Abuse.'

According to Pinellas County officials, every 32 hours someone dies of a drug overdose in Pinellas County. In 2010, 280 people died of accidental drug overdoses with 249 of these deaths being due to abuse of prescription pain medication. 

To help combat the pill epidemic, the county has created a four-part TV series called, Fighting Back Against Prescription Drug Abuse. 

The series, according to a news release, profiles drug abuse problem in Pinellas County and what local officials are doing to combat the issue through law enforcement, local ordinances and public education. 

  • In part one, guests Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Director of Pinellas County Department of Justice and Consumer Services Tim Burns relate local efforts to control illicit drug pill mills. 
  • In part two, Laurie Serra, cofounder of the Pinellas Chapter of Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) and Jackie Griffin from Operation PAR and the Live Free Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition discuss public education efforts to enlighten parents and young people to the dangers of prescription drug abuse. 
  • Part three finds Dr. Cynthia Lewis-Younger from Tampa General Hospital and Judge Dee Anna Farnell of Pinellas County’s Drug Court talking about the dangers of synthetic drugs and the legal problems associated with their control. 
  • The program concludes as Sgt. Dan Zsido from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and Jan Tracy from Pinellas County Solid Waste explain safe ways to dispose of prescription medication including the county’s Operation Medicine Cabinet initiative. 

The vidoes can be viewed online, and they will be airing on PCC-TV on Bright House Channel 622, Verizon Channel 44 and Knology Channel 18. The videos can also be viewed on Patch by clicking on the videos below the picture at the top right of the story. 

Ian Tilp October 20, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I will pray for you to find the strength to overcome your opiate addiction. God bless you.
Ian Tilp October 20, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Where will all of the countless opiate addicts obtain their drugs, once the pill-mills are run out of business? Heroin dealers will take their place. Who is responsible for this mess?
WAKE UP! October 30, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Two Pinellas County schools are undergoing a 3-week TAKEOVER by a program called WAKE UP! - we teach high school students the dangers of prescription drug abuse by using the science behind addiction. www.wakeupnow.org
carol alvey December 30, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Lost my 33 yr old daughter in sept due to pill mill dr....legal drug pusher
Gwen Thomas January 03, 2013 at 01:32 AM
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, Carol. Too many times I've heard about the same tragedy. It is my personal passion to prevent the downward spiral of drug abuse. I practice alternative medicine and natural pain management in hopes that my patients will find another way, another life, another chance.

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