Myrtle Beach area officials notice alarming increase in drug overdoses

Local News

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — According to county officials, the number of overdoses in the Myrtle Beach area is on the rise.

Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said the number of overdose cases this summer nearly doubled compared to last year. So far just in September, 16 cases have been sent out to indicate a drug overdose.

“Today, just trying it can kill you,” said Nicole Criss, executive director of Faces and Voices of Recovery. “COVID has definitely had an impact. Being a person in recovery myself, I have seen people come to meetings and then have a recurrence and end up dead.”

According to Robert Edge, there were 15 drug overdose deaths in July and 16 in August. City officials called that increase alarming in a meeting last week.

Data from Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue shows a response to over 100 overdose calls from July through September. Criss said within the last month at least 11 overdoses were reversed by Narcan.

“It’s just the world we live in today,” Criss said. “The drugs that people are taking today are not the drugs that my generation was taking 20 years ago.”

Moving forward, Criss’s goals are to normalize recovery in the area, as a way to help reduce the increase in overdoses.

“Overdose reversals are happening because of Narcan getting out on the street, and that Narcan is being provided by organizations like FAVOR, who are designated community Narcan providers.”

“People are scared that have problems, part of what we do here is that we want to come out and say we’re in recovery and that helps, it’s proven to work,” she said.

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