Teen opioid deaths in Horry County are rising

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — More teenagers are dying from opioid overdoses in Horry County.

There are about five opioid-related deaths a week in Horry Corry, according to the Horry County Coroner’s Office. Over the last year, the office has seen an increase in teenagers dying from opioids. 

The coroner’s office said that a majority of those who died due to illegal drugs in Horry County are white males between the ages of 17-35. 

Each year, Rep. Tom Rice, R-District 7, said he works to ensure South Carolina and the 7th District — including Horry County — receives federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

In 2021, South Carolina received $141 million for substance abuse and mental health services, which was the highest amount for the state in at least six years.

Rice believes the two things that can be done to reduce opioid deaths is to refine treatment opportunities and to work on stopping the drug supply.

“As long as there’s supply and people want it, it’s just so difficult to actually end it,” Rice said.

Rice said that despite Congress’ efforts to tackle the opioid epidemic, it will not get better unless the Southern border is closed.

Earlier Wednesday, Rice introduced the Community Oriented Policing Services on the Beat Grant Program Reauthorization and Parity Act of 2022 to increase compensation and hiring of law enforcement officers.

Rice said that rural areas are being hit the most with illegal drugs and believes that with more accessible law enforcement in rural areas, police will be able to gain more control on the issue.

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