Panel sheds light on youth drug use in Pasco

Speaking before a roomful of adults, a panel of teens offered their insights and observations about drug use among youths in Pasco County. Marijuana use appears to be the biggest drug-related issue among youth across Pasco County, said the panelists, who are members of Safe Teens Against Drugs (STAND). They said kids are increasingly turning to marijuana as a way to escape their personal … [Read more...]

Can human connection heal?

Austin Eubanks remembered with clarity the tragic day that forever changed his life, and, ultimately claimed it. His best friend was killed instantly in front of him. Then Eubanks was shot twice, in the hand and knee. Eubanks was just 17 years old when he experienced and survived the massacre inside the library of Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. “I remember seeing my hand … [Read more...]

Youth vaping a growing concern in Pasco

Health officials in Pasco County are concerned about rising numbers of local teens who are using electronic cigarettes, or vaping. Last year, about 25 percent of Florida high school students reported current use of electronic vaping, according to the Florida Department of Health. That marked a staggering 58 percent increase compared to 2017. The figures might be even higher in Pasco … [Read more...]

Addiction recovery community organization forming in Pasco

New long-term addiction recovery services may soon be headed to Pasco County, by way of what’s called a Recovery Community Organization. A Recovery Community Organization, otherwise known as an RCO, is an independent, nonprofit organization led and governed by representatives of local communities of recovery, which organizes recovery-focused policy advocacy activities, carries out … [Read more...]

Seminar spotlights Pasco’s opioid epidemic, solutions

When it comes to tackling the opioid crisis in Pasco County, the community needs all hands on deck. That’s according to Monica Rousseau, coordinator for the Pasco County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP). Rousseau was one of ASAP’s group of speakers for an opioid crisis seminar at the Pasco-Hernando State College Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel. The Sept. 18 … [Read more...]

Pasco Schools seeks to address students’ mental health needs

Pasco County Schools is searching for additional ways to better serve its students’ mental health needs. As part of that effort, the school system brought together student services staff and community mental health providers on May 4 for the district’s first-ever Mental Health Symposium. The seminar’s aim was to raise awareness of students’ mental health, build capacity of staff to respond, and … [Read more...]

Seeking answers in the opioid battle

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis wants all voices to be heard in the quest to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. The congressman met with the Pasco County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) on March 27 to discuss the issue and listen to reactions to proposed federal legislation related to the opioid crisis. The public meeting, held at the community center at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, … [Read more...]

Rally sheds light on risks of impaired driving

For one drunk driver, it took going blind to finally see. That’s the message Derrick Jenkins shared during A Rally to Prevent Impaired Driving, on Dec. 5 at John Long Middle School in Wesley Chapel. Three years ago, Jenkins was just a “normal kid.” But, the St. Petersburg resident’s life changed forever on Nov. 5, 2013. Jenkins, then 21, attended a local car show with a few … [Read more...]