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Get Involved

Our members are united by a shared interest
in preventing substance abuse in Seminole County.

Learn about membership and
join the coalition today!

Spotlight on our Member of the Month

The mission of Boys Town Central Florida, in Oviedo,
is to change the way America cares for children,
families and communities by providing and promoting
an Integrated Continuum of Care that instills Boys Town values
to strengthen body, mind and spirit.

Boys Town Central Florida serves abused, abandoned and neglected youth from all over the state with its Family Homes Program, Intervention and Assessment Center, and In-Home Family Services. Last year, Boys Town started a Common Sense Parenting Program and a Behavioral Health Clinic for youth and families. For more, please call (407) 588-2170. Click for website

Coalition Meetings

Help strengthen our community. Both members of the coalition and county residents are encouraged to attend our meetings. Coalition meetings offer an excellent opportunity to network with Seminole County residents and to learn more about the health
of our county.

Next meeting:
Aug. 15, 2014

10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Seminole County Sheriff's Office
100 Bush Blvd., Sanford, FL 32773
(First floor community room)

Get Directions here!


Learn about the dangers of marijuana

SANFORD – Community members who attended the last meeting of the Seminole Prevention Coalition learned about the latest research, emerging trends and common myths about marijuana.

The presentation by guest speaker Christine Stilwell, Orlando Regional Director of Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership & Grassroots Regional Director, was particularly important given Florida’s pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana. A constitutional amendment was approved by the state Supreme Court and will appear on the ballot this November.

"Twenty one states and the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana laws," Stilwell noted.

Made illegal in 1937, marijuana is the most abused illicit drug in the nation, she added. It affects every organ in the body, it is linked to mental illness and can produce a psychotic reaction.

The mind-altering THC content in today’s marijuana is 16 percent, up from just 1 percent a few decades ago, Stilwell said.

Marijuana is the top substance for those entering into substance addiction programs, she said. Its abuse rate is higher than that any other drug, including heroin and pain relievers.

Persistent use of marijuana leads to an average loss of 8 IQ points, according to a New Zealand study. Long-term use of the drug by either a mother or father can cause harmful effects for newborns, such as low birth weight.

After alcohol, marijuana-impairment is the second leading cause of car accidents, Stilwell pointed out. Marijuana doubles incidents of car accidents.

Stilwell also covered new ways of ingesting marijuana – dabbing (inhaling of super-concentrated smoke) and vaporizing – and tackled several myths about marijuana. Just a few of the myths and facts follow:

Myth: Marijuana is not addictive.
Fact: Marijuana is addictive. Nine percent of people who try it become addicted, 17 percent of those who start using it in their teens become addicted, and 20-50 percent of daily users develop addiction.
Myth: Marijuana is safer than alcohol.
Fact: Both have similar dangers, including addiction, birth defects, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety and brain damage.
Myth: Marijuana is medicine. 
Fact: Medicine that stimulates appetite and reduces nausea and vomiting is already on the market, such as Marinol and other drugs on track for FDA approval.
Myth: We’re locking up all our marijuana users.
Fact: Only 0.1 percent of drug-related offenders in jail are there for using marijuana.
Myth: Marijuana is good economics.
Fact: Social, health care and criminal costs would go up.

The Florida amendment on the ballot in November would allow for edible marijuana products such as butters, baked goods (brownies and donuts) and sodas.

Critics of the ballot wording, including Stilwell, argue that the measure would require no criteria for a caregiver, so that one can list oneself as a caregiver, it sets no age limit, permits unlimited marijuana use for those with a physician’s recommendation, and it allows for pot shops that could offer onsite marijuana use and delivery service. A physician can be an acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists and osteopathic doctors are all listed as physicians.

Finally, the Florida law would allow out-of-state visitors to buy and use medical marijuana, which could lead to similar problems that the state had with pill mills.

“This is scary stuff,” Coalition Director Debbie Owens, said, adding that is important for word of mouth to get around to voters about the wording of the amendment. “Educate the people that you know, so they know the facts.”

Additional resources: Drug Free America Foundation, Inc., Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot, Florida Sheriff’s Association, Save Our Society From Drugs, Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth, Smart Approaches to Marijuana

Click Here For News Archive

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Collection Totals Climb

SEMINOLE COUNTY – The spring National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event took in 6,863 pounds of expired and unwanted medications in Central Florida!

In Seminole County, 1,589 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at nearly a dozen locations staffed by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and Police Departments in Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Lake Mary, Longwood, Oviedo, Sanford and Winter Springs.

That total is 352 pounds more than the total collected in Seminole County during the last Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct., 26, 2013. For all of Central Florida, the April 26 total is 2,353 pounds more than the amount received last October.

A resident drops off unwanted prescription drugs at the Oviedo Police Department on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 26. In Seminole County, 1,589 pounds of prescription drugs were collected.

Got Sharps?

Seminole County offers a variety of options for safe, easy and free disposal of your used sharps.

Click here for a list of fire stations which accept used hypodermic needles and lancets.

Learn more about Seminole County's Sharps Program here

Find the Help You Need

Programs and Services for Children & Families

The Seminole County Resource Directory is a comprehensive listing of local, state and national resources available to Seminole County families. Please feel free to copy and distribute this publication as needed.

Thank you and remember, “Primary prevention interrupts the cycle of violence.”

Click to download the free Seminole County Resource Directory