As our Hillsborough County School District canceled all classes on campuses across our county through April 30, 2020, and Governor DeSantis put into place yesterday a stay-at-home order for our entire state, we feel it is imperative that we move quickly and efficiently to provide our NOPE presentation content to all that have access to web-based platforms.
We reached more than 120,000 middle and high school students thus far with the important messages and stories shared during our 50-minute student presentation. We stress these three key points every time we go in front of teens:
- Break your code of silence that you keep and be the hero and let someone know that can help if you or someone in your life is struggling with substance abuse.
- One time can kill you. One time of picking up a vaping device that has a substance you are not even aware the dealer put inside of it could kill you. One time of smoking a joint laced with fentanyl it could kill you.
- Make the call and dial 911 if anyone begins to exhibit signs of overdose. Those signs include but are not limited to: excessive vomiting, hallucinating, elevated body temperature, loud snoring sounds or struggles to breathe, may not awaken when roused, cold or clammy skin, pupils that do not dilate nor constrict in the normal fashion, or may exhibit blue lips, face, hands, or feet. The 911 Good Samaritan Law protects the person making the call and the person they are calling about that they fear might be overdosing from getting into legal trouble regardless of the substances being abused.
We invite every parent, child, workplace colleagues, and friends to gather around their computer or TV screen and experience this NOPE of Hillsborough Student Presentation that was filmed at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida back in March 2019. At that time we had not started to address vaping as much as we do now in our revised presentation. We encourage you to watch the vaping Public Service Announcement that is shown on our website’s page where the NOPE presentation video is found. The page is titled “experience-nope.”
Addiction holds no prejudice. We are all consumed with COVID-19 right now and rightly so. Substance-related deaths will continue once this pandemic subsides. Please do not think that we have the opioid epidemic under control. Our nation, our state, our city, and our county are being attacked by the drama and heartache associated with addiction and overdose deaths.
Watching this video from our NOPE team might help change and save a life. Let others know that we are here to help. With our local support group called Journey to Healing Hearts, we lift those up who are grieving the loss of a loved one due to substance use or abuse. The group is non-professional and free to all. They normally meet the second Saturday of each month but will not be meeting in April 2020 and we are not sure about May’s meeting at this time.
Be well. Be safe. Be kind to one another, Keep your social distancing going. Keep doing your part in reducing the spread of the virus. This too shall pass.