These Essays Blew Us Away! We laughed, we cried, we felt hope!

For the past five years, our NOPE of Hillsborough Chapter has awarded $33,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors in Hillsborough County Schools. We have found this to be some of the most rewarding times spent during the year in addition to our in-person student presentations.   Part of the application process now includes writing an essay surrounding the student’s experience witnessing a NOPE student presentation. We encourage the applicants to share their feelings about this purposefully blunt and emotionally charged presentation.
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Daniel Shares His Story to Save Lives

We heard about Daniel when one of our NOPE of Hillsborough family speakers heard his story through CW50 Detroit News Station. The story they featured Daniel in can be found here. Fast forward more than one year later and Daniel is soon to graduate from high school in spite of the monumental adversities he has faced since being hospitalized after vaping damaged both his lungs. We encourage you to visit the website for the non-profit that Daniel has set up to

Remember Me is What This Mom Heard from Her Son That Lost His Battle with Addiction

So many stories. So many lives lost. So many loved ones left behind grieving. Please reach out to those you know and love today. Make sure they are doing well. Make sure they know you are there for them. Make sure we all take care of each other. Then, sit back, and embrace this song written by mom to Travis, Sally Ponzio, and brought to life by many who also have been touched by the drama & heartache associated with the

Scholarships, The Stanley Cup, and Substance Use Disorder – What do they have in common?

This has GOT TO BE a year that will stay in the history books and archives forever! Our NOPE of Hillsborough Chapter has experienced what the rest of the world has experienced due to the COVID 19 health crisis and this is a halt to all large group activities, an absence of all in-person fundraising, and a feeling of isolation from our community and partners. As much as social media tries to keep us connected, as much as ZOOM and Teams

Sounds Like an Accurate Portrayal of Teen Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Overdose

So often lately the media gets blasted for covering one topic too much, for not covering another topic enough, for leaving out a certain fact here, or fact-checking something improperly there. I am REALLY glad I am not in present-day journalism for a career! With that being said, there is a journalist named Jessica Gold that provides great insight into the MTV docuseries called 16 and Recovering. I am not going to steal Jessica’s thunder with my own input (because after

International Overdose Awareness Day

We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID health crisis has changed the way in which we live each day. For those struggling with the disease of addiction, the feelings of isolation and depression can be overwhelming. It’s time for all of us to reach out to those we know that struggle and let them know that they are NOT alone. Pick up the phone and call that person who is in recovery. Relapse, as we all know, is a common

Happiness in the Midst of the COVID Health Crisis

Looking for a bit of happiness during these very challenging times?   Ready for a bit of really good news?   Our NOPE of Hillsborough Chapter surprised TEN Hillsborough County senior students with a $1,000 scholarship each last month. We received more than 65 applications this year for our NOPE of Hillsborough scholarships. A record-breaking number of submissions!   Because we had so many quality applications and essays we teamed up with Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance and The Michael Valdes Foundation

Please Remember Your Loved Ones Struggling with Substance Use Disorder During the COVID Health Crisis

Almost every person in our nation knows someone that is struggling with substance use disorder. If not directly, then indirectly. Your neighbor’s child, a co-worker’s relative, your former college roommate’s sister, and on and on and on. During this unprecedented time of the COVID health crisis, there has been a surge in fatal opioid overdoses. Isolation is leading to relapse for many that struggle with substance use disorder, aka the disease of addiction. Please be the person that takes the time

Experience a NOPE Student Presentation from Your Home

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

We are thankful for so much awareness of the vaping crisis, the 911 Good Samaritan Law, and More

This year has been exceptional for our NOPE of Hillsborough Chapter. We have already reached more than 8,000 students with our stories and messages this school year. We are thankful for our partnership with Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough County Sherriff Office, and the Hillsborough County School District as we empower and educate our community on ways to help fight this epidemic of youth substance abuse, addiction, and substance-related deaths. Do you realize that more than 2,500 teens try prescription pills for