Published: Oct 27, 2010 5:45 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 27, 2010 2:45 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 24,000 drug-related deaths nationwide each year. Lee County is not immune to this tragedy. Of the death cases worked by the Lee County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit since 2008, one in five involved a fatal overdose. Many of these deaths were the result of mixing prescription pills with alcohol, cocaine and other drugs.

To bring attention to the destructive forces of drug abuse, the Narcotic Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) task force of Lee County will hold a candle light vigil tomorrow night (October 28) at 7:00 pm outside the Lee County Sheriff's Office Headquarters at 14750 Six Mile Cypress Parkway. Similar vigils will be held simultaneously in communities across the country.

Community leaders, law enforcement officials and other anti-drug advocates will light candles and observe a moment of silence in an effort to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma that surrounds the disease of addiction.

The keynote speaker will be a video address of Gil Kerlikowske, the White House Director of National Drug Control Policy. The Lee County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard will also perform.