In 2002, the Florida Office of Drug Control discovered that Palm Beach County had the fastest growing rate of drug overdose deaths in the State and requested that the community take action. Palm Beach County community leaders, and families who have lost loved ones to drug related deaths, came together to help prevent drug abuse and drug overdose deaths. The group targeted youth by providing a dramatic in-school presentation about the dangers and consequences of drug abuse. The presentation was titled Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE). The NOPE presentation consisted of statistics and commentary on the issues of drug abuse and concluded with parents sharing their chilling, heart wrenching stories of losing their child from a drug related incident. The NOPE presentation was first delivered to Palm Beach County students during the 2002/03 school year.
Richard and Karen Perry, along with Maryann Carey, recommended forming a non-profit organization that would deliver a clear educational message to students, provide treatment resources and expand NOPE's reach within Palm Beach County and beyond. On June 24, 2004, NOPE became a 501c3, non-profit organization, changing its name to N.O.P.E Task Force, Inc.
The newly established board of directors determined that NOPE Task Force's mission would include education, treatment support, support for families, and advocacy. The mission also enabled NOPE to reach out to all Palm Beach County Schools and expand into other areas of Florida and nationally.
- Richard Perry; Father of Richard W. Perry, Jr.; President/CEO, Security Networks
- Karen H. Perry; Mother of Richard W. Perry Jr.; Executive Director, NOPE Task Force
- Maryann F. Carey; Mother of Steven Carey
- Jeffery C. Lindskoog; Captain, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
- Gary R. Martin Ed.D.; Associate Dean of Student Life, Lynn University; Detective, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
- Jan Cairnes; Prevention Manager, Hanley Center