Narconon Suncoast Joins the Clearwater Community Downtown Block Party
Recently, the City of Clearwater, FL put on its twice-a-year downtown block party. More than 3,000 locals attended the event that was hosted by many of Clearwater’s non-profit and charitable organizations. There was dancing, food and festivities for everyone to enjoy. Staff and volunteers from Narconon Suncoast set up a booth at the block party to help raise awareness about drugs, addiction and to educate the public about how they can help a loved one or friend in need.
The block party was a great way for Narconon Suncoast to reach more people with their “Drug Free. For Good.” message and to speak with Clearwater residents about the effects drugs have had on their community. We live in a day and age where any person would be hard-pressed not to find a town, city or state in the U.S. that hasn’t been affected by drugs in some way, shape, or form. For years, the opiate epidemic has been on the rise, with more deaths and overdoses mounting every day. According to the Miami Herald, heroin and fentanyl use has skyrocketed over the last few years, with more deaths attributed to the drugs now than ever.
Heroin and fentanyl have become increasing problems in Florida, along with morphine, sedatives, and cocaine. Heroin-related deaths jumped up to a 100% increase in 2015 in Miami-Dade county, 210 % in Broward county and 425% in Palm Beach counties. Public health officials stated that there were uniform increases in heroin and fentanyl deaths through the end of 2015 and into 2016, which is quite alarming. The surge in heroin use in Florida also resulted in the creation of a “needle exchange” in Miami, which was approved by Florida legislature earlier this year to cut down on the transmission of blood-borne illness such as Hepatitis C and HIV.
Florida has followed the same trend as the rest of the nation; heroin- and fentanyl-related deaths are on the rise. Across the country, children as young as 15 years old are experimenting with painkillers and heroin. The surge in opiate use and dependence has also caused a surge in ER admissions and dispatched ambulances to assist the vast amount of overdoses occurring on a daily basis. There was a time when the worst drugs you would find in any high school were marijuana, alcohol, LSD and mushrooms. Now schools are flooded with heroin, crack, meth, and various synthetic drugs, the ingredients of which is anybody’s guess. Also, kids are taking prescription drugs from home medicine cabinets and mixing them, helter-skelter.
Taking part in the festivities at the downtown Clearwater block party has provided Narconon Suncoast the opportunity to continue spreading the truth about drug use and its consequences, providing an invaluable service to the local community. For over 50 years, the Narconon program has helped addicts get to the bottom of their addictions, handling the actual problem or problems that drugs became the solution to, and allowing them to once again live normal, happy, productive lives. Narconon Suncoast believes that no addict is ever permanently lost to drugs. Given the right tools they need to be drug free for good, any addict can be brought back from the pits of despair and reunited back with their own lives. Narconon Suncoast works tirelessly to bring a “drug-free” message to all it touches and has joined the effort to end the opiate crisis in the country for good and bring our society back from being irreparably harmed.