Plenty on tap for Pasco ASAP in 2019

As it continues its mission to reduce the overuse and misuse of illicit drugs and alcohol, the Pasco County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention has witnessed progress during several areas during the past year. During 2018, Pasco County: Saw its drug poisoning death rate, or overdoses, register a slight decrease — for the first time since 2014 Reported lower figures of illicitly used … [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...]

Spring cleaning: Don’t forget the medicine cabinet

Gearing up for Spring usually involves a good sprucing up of our homes. And, it’s a good time to clear out the bathroom medicine cabinet, too. Many people accrue a collection of leftover drugs —as a result of quick-healing injuries or medications that are no longer needed as new ones have been prescribed in their place. Most people don’t give their unwanted drugs a second thought, but … [Read more...]

Legislative forum covers wide spectrum of issues

Dozens of speakers signed up to draw attention to topics they think are important at Pasco County’s annual legislative delegation meeting. The topics ranged from fracking to Medicaid; the opioid epidemic to immigration; medical marijuana to homelessness; and, scores of budget requests. Some requests were for items vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, for … [Read more...]

Funding and flexibility needed in substance abuse fight

While President Donald Trump has declared opioid abuse to be a national emergency, local experts have urged U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis to remember that other substance abuse problems also remain to be a real concern in Pasco County. Bilirakis paid a visit to the Land O’ Lakes Community Center on Aug. 22 seeking to hear from people on the front lines of tackling substance abuse problems. His … [Read more...]

Medication can reverse effects of opioid overdoses

As communities across the nation struggle with an opioid epidemic, there’s a medication — that’s not widely known — that can reverse the effects of an overdose and save lives. Its generic name is naloxone. About 75 people attended a June 15 seminar on opioid addiction and the benefits of naloxone moderated by Judge Shawn Crane, who presides in the sixth circuit. Law enforcement officers, … [Read more...]

Putting the spotlight on substance abuse

Taking aim at substance abuse requires a new mindset, if efforts are to succeed, speakers said at the fifth annual Substance Abuse Prevention Conference on April 29. The biggest crisis hitting Florida today is the heroin and opioid epidemic, but the issue isn’t treated that way, said Mark Fontaine, executive director of Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association. “We have 13 cases of Zika … [Read more...]

Changing the conversation on substance abuse

There’s a powerful tool that could help reduce substance abuse, but it’s rarely considered, according to Monica Rousseau, coordinator for the Pasco County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention. “In order to reduce substance abuse, we must change the way we think about it,” Rousseau said, during a presentation on substance abuse prevention at Pasco-Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at … [Read more...]