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Drunk Driving Affects More than Just You

On July 4th, our country celebrates its independence with picnics, barbecues, and backyard parties. Don’t let your independence be compromised by an unwise—and deadly—decision to drink and drive. This Fourth of July, law enforcement in Pinellas County are taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign June 29 through July 5, 2018, to put an end to drunk driving.

This means you’ll see increased enforcement accepting no excuses for those who drive impaired. This Independence Day, let’s all work together to spread the life-saving message that drunk driving is unacceptable, deadly, and illegal behavior. It puts drivers and passengers at risk, as well as other road users. In fact, in 2016, an average of one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes. As you, your friends, and your family head out to the July Fourth festivities this summer, keep safety at the forefront. During the Fourth of July holiday weekend, make sure you plan for a safe week of festivities, keeping in mind this vital message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Please remember these drunk-driving statistics as you prepare to party this summer:

  • In 2016, 10,497 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes—almost a third of all traffic fatalities nationwide. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors.
  • It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher in all 50 States and the District of Columbia—no exceptions.
  • Over the 2016 Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6), 188 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher. This is a 28-percent increase from 2015, during which 146 people were killed during the same holiday period.
  • During the 2016 July Fourth holiday period, nearly half of those who died in a vehicle crash were involved in a crash with at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher—almost twice the legal limit.
  • Alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes during the 2016 July Fourth holiday period was more than three times higher at night than it was during the day.
  • From 2012 to 2016, there were 780 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Fourth of July holiday periods.


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Mental Health Month 2018

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally –it’s important to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help you achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.
Action Plus is raising awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health, through the theme Fitness #4Mind4Body. The campaign is meant to educate and inform individuals about how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you healthy all around.

This May is Mental Health Month

A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also play a big role in helping people recover from these conditions. Taking good care of your body is part of a before Stage Four approach to mental health. Getting the appropriate amount of exercise can help control weight, improve mental health, and help you live longer and healthier. Recent research is also connecting your nutrition and gut health with your mental health.

Sleep also plays a critical role in all aspects of our life and overall health.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important to having enough physical and mental energy to take on daily responsibilities. And we all know that stress can have a huge impact on all aspects of our health, so it’s important to take time to focus on stress-reducing activities like meditation or yoga.
Action Plus wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is always the goal. Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy, but by looking at your overall health every day – both physically and mentally – you can go a long way in ensuring that you focus on your Fitness #4Mind4Body.
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Human Trafficking – Here are the Signs

“Trafficking is one of the most egregious violations of human rights facing the United Nations.” Kofi Annan.

    • Human trafficking is defined as ‘the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for commercial sex, labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjecting that person to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.’ (Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000).
    • About 700,000 persons, primarily women and children, are trafficked annually within or across international borders.
    • It is not necessary for a victim to cross a border.  Women and children, who are domestically trafficked for prostitution and/or forced labor within their own countries, are considered trafficked. Youth under age 18, who are involved in prostitution, are also considered trafficked.
    • The criminal means by which trafficking takes place include not only force, abduction, or deception, but also less explicit means, such as abuse of a victim’s vulnerability.
  • Women and children are the key target groups because of their marginalization, limited economic resources and predominance in the ‘invisible’ informal labor sector.
  • Trafficked victims frequently come from less developed countries and are taken to more developed countries. They are often promised opportunity or employment by traffickers, only to be coerced into, prostitution or involuntary servitude once away from home.
  • Root causes of trafficking include greed, demand for sex or for cheap products, economic or political instability, corruption, and myriad other social factors.
  • Criminal groups engage in human trafficking because it is highly profitable and less risky, Unlike the trafficking of other ‘commodities’, people can be sold repeatedly without a large capital investment.
  • The United States is one of the destination countries. Victims of trafficking originate from such nations as Russia, the Ukraine, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic, Mexico and India.
  • Traffickers move women and children into the U.S. through many ports of entry: Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago and San Francisco. Recently, traffickers have extended their operations to Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Orlando, and Washington, D.C.
  • In recent major trafficking cases, there have been reports of trafficking instances in every state, with most cases occurring in New York, California, Texas and Florida.
  • All trafficked victims are protected under law, not only those who prove force.

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