MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Myrtle Beach Fire Department is seeing an increase in EMS units administering Narcan.
Spencer Josey, a licensed counselor at Coastal Recover Center said the COVID-19 pandemic made things worse.
“When people are forced to stay home or become jobless but still have economical, financial means, it’s kind of a perfect storm for an addict,” Josey said.
The rise in overdoses can be seen in local law enforcement data. The Myrtle Beach Fire Department administered 161 Narcan doses between Jan. 1 and Sept. 29 or last year. This year, that number is already at 263.
Horry County Fire Rescue administered 1,213 Narcan doses in all of 2020. This year, they’re already administered 1,158 doses.
In Florence County, the number dropped slightly. Including all municipalities, Florence County’s 911 calls for service pertaining to overdoses have decreased. In 2019 that number was 386, in 2020 it went up to 409 and now in 2021, that number is 369 to date.
“It’s kind of a save your life, but what do we do?” Josey asked.
Josey said he’s worried because their data shows fewer people have come in for help.
“It’s sad because I know the need’s out there and I know there are people suffering,” he said. “It’s hard for me to make sense of it really, to know you have this need, to know that the EMS and first responders are struggling with these calls but there’s no one really seeking treatment.”
Addition recover centers said it is hard for people to notice they have a problem.
“A person needs to come to some point in their life when they realize it’s not fine anymore,” said John Coffin, executive director at Shoreline Behavioral Health Services. “They realized they’re addicted and what they’re really trying to do is keep from getting sick and they get tired of that.”
Josey said, “It’s a difficult journey but it’s one that can be done and there is hope and there is another way.”
For more information or to seek help from the Coastal Recovery Center, head to their website or call 1-843-449-6261.
For more information or to seek help from Shoreline Behavioral Health Services, head to their website or call 843-365-8884.