Quantcast

Clearwater mom to speak at drug abuse vigil - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Clearwater mom to speak at drug abuse vigil

Posted: Updated:
Coni Pappas Coni Pappas
CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

Coni Pappas says drugs devastated her family. Although she's never been an addict, she's felt the pain of drug abuse for decades.

"Three generations and my story's common. I mean, drug abuse and addiction runs often in families," explained Pappas.

Pappas' son Nicholas, 23, died from a cocaine overdose in 2005. He was set to graduate from USF the following month.

"He was an amazing, amazing kid," Pappas said.

Her ex-husband, who battled drugs for decades, died a few years later. Now their youngest son, Michael, is in his forth round of rehab for prescription drug abuse. Pappas recently adopted Michael's 3-year-old son, who was born addicted to opiates.

"He was whisked off to the neo-natal unit at Mease. He was there almost 9 weeks and was detoxed," she explained.

He's healthy now and Pappas prays he won't start using when he gets older. Pappas opened a yoga studio 5 years ago. She says yoga is a great form of therapy and now she's finding another way to help in her healing. She's sharing her story in hopes it will bring greater awareness.

"I'm putting myself out there. I'm just like okay, here this is what happened to me. It can happen to you," she said.

Pappas recently gave her first anti-drug presentation to students at Countryside High School. She'll speak out Thursday night at a vigil for the Pinellas County Chapter of Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education, or NOPE.

"I think we kind of have to all do it together. I think the schools, the doctors have to work together. We have to talk about it. We have to stop keeping it in the shadows like it's something to be ashamed."

The public vigil to remember drug and alcohol abuse victims starts at 7 p.m. at Largo Central Park.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:35 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Pasco County couple survive a week adrift at sea

    Pasco County couple survive a week adrift at sea

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:17 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:17:17 GMT
    A Pasco county couple is recovering after spending a week adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. They were trapped 80 miles off shore without any food and very little water for seven days.
    A Pasco county couple is recovering after spending a week adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. They were trapped 80 miles off shore without any food and very little water for seven days.
  • Palm Harbor strip club hit & run victim makes plea

    Palm Harbor strip club hit & run victim makes plea

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:33:46 GMT
    New video shows the violent incident early Friday morning, outside "Silks" strip club on US 19 in Palm Harbor. Bouncer Doug Berube and the club DJ. wanted to talk to a guy in a car about an earlier incident. The driver shoved it in reverse, hit the gas, and backed over Berube. He has a plea for the driver....
    New video shows the violent incident early Friday morning, outside "Silks" strip club on US 19 in Palm Harbor. Bouncer Doug Berube and the club DJ. wanted to talk to a guy in a car about an earlier incident. The driver shoved it in reverse, hit the gas, and backed over Berube. He has a plea for the driver....
  • Land O' Lakes man: troopers saved my life

    Land O' Lakes man: troopers saved my life

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:51 GMT
    A Pasco County man credits two Florida Highway Patrol troopers with saving his life. A Pasco County man credits two Florida Highway Patrol troopers with saving his life.
    Chris Henry calls two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers heroes. He believes they saved his life.
    Chris Henry calls two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers heroes. He believes they saved his life.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.