MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Grand Strand Health announced it’ll host its annual opioid take-back event this weekend as part of national drug take back day.
Leaders with Grand Strand Health said last year they collected a city record-breaking more than 123,000 individual prescription medications.
That is a total of 245 pounds. This is to prevent these drugs from getting into the wrong hands. Law enforcement from the Myrtle Beach Police Department will collect unneeded or expired medications including opioids.
According to the CDC, more than 16,000 South Carolinians died from a drug overdose ending in the 12-month period on September 2020.
“Opioid crisis is well-known throughout the whole country and Grand Strand and with the pandemic we see more use of opiates and other medications to cope with the pandemic,” PharmD and Grand Strand Health Pharmacy Manager, Anna Tumanovska-Krencik said.
South Carolina sits at the fifth highest reported increase. This event is to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse. Hospital staff said one of the reasons opioid use is worse now because of the pandemic.
Because of the pandemic, state leaders said overdoses were up nearly 40% and Narcan use was up 32% year-over-year last year. Officials said the main causes of opioid use are anxiety, isolation and job loss.
“During this time, we do a couple of things. We talk to our community about the danger of having unused medications at their home and having them accessible to people who are not supposed to have them like teenagers and or for people who those medications are not prescribed for,” Tumanovska-Krencik said.
Drug take-back day is Saturday, October 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grand Strand Medical Center.
To learn more about this event, click here.