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Counselor from A&E's Intervention to appear in St. Petersburg Oct. 25, talking prescription drug addiction



aeintervention3.jpgFans know him as the straight-talking counselor with an amusing habit of using the same phrases again and again.

But author, motivational speaker, onetime pastor and counselor Jeff VanVonderen also leads A&E's hit series Intervention, giving viewers a different, up close look at the pain of addiction.

And next week, he'll bring that no-nonsense attitude to St. Petersburg for a panel discussion to talk about the substance abuse issue which has reached a crisis point in Florida: prescription drug addiction.

VanVonderen appears next Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg, topping a panel of area notables talking about prescription drug abuse. NPR has called Florida "the epicenter of a prescription drug abuse epidemic," noting that the state's doctors prescribe 10 times the number of oxycodone pills prescribed by doctors in other states combined. See their report here.

jeff-intervention.jpgThe St. Petersburg Times said last year prescription drug abuse kills seven Floridians a day. See that report here.

Moderated by Bay News 9 anchor Veronica Cintron, the event also features State Rep. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg), Pinellas County drug court Judge Dee Anna Farnell and Robert L. Neri, a senior vice president at the network of non-profit treatment centers, WestCare.

Attendees, which will include students, parents, law enforcement experts and treatment center providers, will see a screening of an episode of Intervention along with the discussion.

The event begins with a reception at 5 p.m., program starts at 6 p.m.; local cablenewschannel Bay News 9 will record the discussion for later broadcast at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. A&E, Bright House and WestCare serve as sponsors. The Coliseum is located at 535 4th Ave. North, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 329-2783 to RSVP.

See a clip of VanVonderen talking about the show here.


[Last modified: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 9:13am]


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