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...]

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...]