MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW)- The findings from a $60,000 study assessing the opioid epidemic in Horry and Georgetown Counties was released to Myrtle Beach City Council.
Horry Georgetown Technical College professor Renee Causey conducted the four month study, and in that time 42 people overdosed. She said Horry County is leading the state in the number of overdoses and the number of opioid prescriptions written.
Causey worked with law enforcement, recovery experts, recovering addicts, and other state and local leaders. The report states the number one issue in our area is the disproportion of funds. South Carolina gets $27 million in federal funding and gave Horry County $600,000 to combat the issue. That money only went to one agency and Georgetown County didn’t receive any direct funds.
Some recommendations include establishing an inpatient treatment facility, hiring an outside coordinator to work with the more than 100 programs in Myrtle Beach to help addicts. One former addict who is now a graduate of Horry Georgetown Tech shared his story in hopes of fighting the stigma.
“I ended up in jail more times than I could count. I’ve been to prison .Through all of this, now I know what I was meant to do. I was meant to give back to people just like me that is my calling and that why I’m here,” said Dustin Walters, a former addict.
“Forgive them for some of the problems that they have so they can get back to work so they can become successful and productive members of society,” said Renee Causey, Horry Georgetown Technical College professor.
Mayor Bethune said she wants to help Causey seek more state funding.
To read the full study, click here.