Delray Drug Task Force, FAU Social Work School To Address Nationwide Substance Use Epidemic


By: Dale King Contributing Writer

Despite reports that drug overdoses and fatalities are down in Palm Beach County, a nationwide epidemic of narcotics abuse and deaths still exists – and continues to plague all areas of society.

With that in mind, the Delray Beach Drug Task Force and Florida Atlantic University’s School of Social Work will bring together nationally recognized leaders in addiction medicine, treatment, recovery, public policy, social work, law enforcement, media, advocacy, education and entertainment, music and sports celebrities in recovery for a symposium Saturday, April 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Barry Kaye Auditorium at FAU in Boca Raton. The event is called SUDTALKS.

“Substance abuse is ravaging our nation and our local community,” said Gary Kimble, executive producer of SUDTALKS. “The battle against the ever-rising tide of addiction is on-going and new tools are needed to crush the epidemic by changing the way we think, feel, believe and treat substance use disorder.”

The array of experts coming to strategize on this epidemic includes famed Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry.

During his career, he helped lead the New York Mets to a World Series championship in 1986 and the New York Yankees to three World Series championships in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

But he was also suspended three times by MLB for substance abuse, leading to many narratives about his massive potential going unfulfilled.

The speakers represent 12 disciplines, essential components in the battle again the epidemic of addiction. SUDTALKS will also feature personal testimonies of celebrities who are in recovery.

Among the facts to be discussed at the forum will be:

  • Last year 8,000 college kids died on college campuses due to drinking and overdoses.
  • Each month 10,000 military personnel are dishonorably discharged due to drug and alcohol abuse
  • There is a rise in all types of drugs laced with the deadly Carfentanil and now found in marijuana, cocaine, xanex, percocet, and heroin. This drug is 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
  • One in four American children is suffering from homelessness, hunger and neglect due to young addicted parents
  • Drug-related deaths have surpassed breast cancer and prostate cancer fatalities and will soon surpass the number of deaths related to the AIDS Epidemic

Proceeds from the 2018 SUDTALKS will support essential life-saving initiatives through the continued development and expansion of the Delray Beach Drug Task Force First Responders Training Program and to support a Delray Beach Drug Task Force Community Advocate.

Tickets to the event are $15 or $25 and $10 for students with a student ID.  For more information or to purchase tickets, visit