MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Opioid use and deaths continue to be an issue nationwide, including along the Grand Strand.
One new business is hoping to change that.
Carolina Pain and Wellness recently opened in the Grand Strand and said its main goal is to tackle the opioid crisis happening in the Myrtle Beach area.
“You have to be either deaf or blind not to see that there is a major opioid crisis here,” said David Weitzman, medical director at Carolina Pain and Wellness.
More than 1,600 South Carolinians died of drug overdose ending in the 12 month period on September 2020, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s a 45.33% increase from that time in 2019.
South Carolina sits at the fifth highest reported increase.
With a 14% addiction rate in the area, Weitzman said only one in five people have the resources to reach out for help.
“We just kind of got to the point where if we didn’t do something or we didn’t set an example then nobody else would,” Weitzman said.
Carolina Pain and Wellness is a medical-assisted treatment center that fully evaluates patients with addictions in order to provide them with an individualized program.
“Each person is an individual, they have their own reasons for being addicted, they have their own reasons for wanting to get off and we recognize that,” Weitzman said.
Nicole Criss, executive director of Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR), said many addicts struggle to find resources.
“My experience with working with people on the street is that they don’t know where to go and there’s not a lot here to offer them,” Criss said. “With substance abuse disorder it’s really hard… somebody’s gonna use if they don’t get help.”
Criss emphasized the importance of providing resources to those with addictions so they can get the help they need. Criss said these kind of treatment centers are a step in the right direction.
“Recovery does happen, and people do turn their lives around and become contributing members of society and I think that’s what gives those people on the streets struggling the hope to come and ask for help,” Criss said.