Clearwater mom to speak at drug abuse vigil - WFLA News Channel 8

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.

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Rodents, roaches close 7 Tampa Bay area restaurants

    Rodents, roaches close 7 Tampa Bay area restaurants

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:03 PM EDT2014-07-28 16:03:39 GMT
    State inspectors temporarily closed seven Tampa Bay eateries from July 14 through 19 after discovering problems with rodents or roaches at the restaurants.We've listed the restaurants that were closed, along with details about what inspectors say they found.
    State inspectors temporarily closed seven Tampa Bay eateries from July 14 through 19 after discovering problems with rodents or roaches at the restaurants.We've listed the restaurants that were closed, along with details about what inspectors say they found.
  • Watch this excited dog faint after being reunited with owner

    Watch this excited dog faint after being reunited with owner

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:32 AM EDT2014-07-28 11:32:38 GMT
    Rebecca Ehalt may have missed her dog while away in Europe, but it's clear that her pet schnauzer missed her so much that it knocked the poor pooch off her feet — literally.
    Rebecca Ehalt may have missed her dog while away in Europe, but it's clear that her pet schnauzer missed her so much that it knocked the poor pooch off her feet — literally.
  • Teen killed by stray bullet in Manatee shooting

    Teen killed by stray bullet in Manatee shooting

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:53:32 GMT
    A shooting was reported at the intersection of the US Highway 301 and University Parkway early Monday morning where a 17-year-old was struck by a bullet and killed, Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.
    A shooting was reported at the intersection of the US Highway 301 and University Parkway early Monday morning where a 17-year-old was struck by a bullet and killed, Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

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