MBPD: Heroin use has reached epidemic proportions in Myrtle Beac - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

MBPD: Heroin use has reached epidemic proportions in Myrtle Beach

A large crowd turned out for a community awareness program about the heroin epidemic in the Myrtle Beach area. (Source: Kaitlin Stansell) A large crowd turned out for a community awareness program about the heroin epidemic in the Myrtle Beach area. (Source: Kaitlin Stansell)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Heroin has reached epidemic proportions. 

That was the message from law enforcement authorities, first responders, family members of users, former addicts and the people who help users recover during a community meeting Tuesday night in Myrtle Beach.

The standing-room-only meeting saw more than 400 people gather in the Base Recreation Center. That turnout showed the impact heroin is having on all levels throughout the Grand Strand community. 

"Heroin right now is No. 1," said Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes.

Numbers put the growing heroin problem in Myrtle Beach in perspective.

According to the Horry County Coroner's Office, in 2015, 72 people died from the drug. Now, in 2016, the community is already more than halfway to that mark.

The spike in usage has been seen especially by first responders.

"It affects the brain that controls some of your vital functions, some of the things that you need to live," Myrtle Beach Deputy Fire Chief Tom Gwyer said.

His crews have gone to at least one call per day for a person suffering from a heroin overdose recently. The statistic, however, only counts the times they have had to use Narcan. The drug is used to bring people back from the brink of death.

The impact of heroin doesn't stop there though.

"Drugs attract criminal activity," said Michael Connelly with the FBI.

Authorities said they have seen a rise in crimes like shoplifting, burglary, car break-ins, prostitution and even human trafficking.

"The community action is essential to turn the tide on this epidemic," said Sara Goldsby with the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services.

All of this information was shared Tuesday night in an effort to spark change. At times, some people in the crowd were emotional hearing personal stories from a former addict and the mother of an incarcerated addict.

It is those stories that painted the best picture of how heroin affects the community.

"I am recovered, and it was great to hear from someone that kind of spoke my story," said Courtney Devlin.

Authorities said change will not happen immediately. Heroin is a problem that affects so many, and it will take a community-wide effort to improve.

"This is the key. We don't know what goes on behind closed doors. We don't know what goes on on the street corners because we can't be everywhere," Rhodes said. "But the eyes and ears around our city, of those who want to help, can help and that's what we're counting on."

Those who need help or want to report suspicious activity in their neighborhood can call (843) 790-DRUG or (843) 488-4351.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Kyle Busch will attend ribbon cutting for motor sports charter school

    Kyle Busch will attend ribbon cutting for motor sports charter school

    Sunday, July 22 2018 6:18 PM EDT2018-07-22 22:18:41 GMT
    The school is expected to be ready by August 22nd (Source: WMBF News)The school is expected to be ready by August 22nd (Source: WMBF News)

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) -- A NASCAR superstar is heading to Horry County in August as students enrolled at the PLAM Charter High School gear up for a new school year at a brand new state of the art facility in Conway. Last year, the school had 125 students enrolled, but with this new facility the school is expected to have nearly 160 students enrolled this upcoming school year. To help kick off the new school year NASCAR driver Kyle Busch will help cut the r...

    More >>

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) -- A NASCAR superstar is heading to Horry County in August as students enrolled at the PLAM Charter High School gear up for a new school year at a brand new state of the art facility in Conway. Last year, the school had 125 students enrolled, but with this new facility the school is expected to have nearly 160 students enrolled this upcoming school year. To help kick off the new school year NASCAR driver Kyle Busch will help cut the r...

    More >>
  • Law enforcement searching for man accused of severely beating woman

    Law enforcement searching for man accused of severely beating woman

    Sunday, July 22 2018 3:26 PM EDT2018-07-22 19:26:09 GMT
    Source: Marion County Sheriff's OfficeSource: Marion County Sheriff's Office
    Source: Marion County Sheriff's OfficeSource: Marion County Sheriff's Office
    MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Police are searching for a man accused of beating a woman in Mullins Sunday.  Emanual Warren, 34, of Mullins is charged with domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.  Captain Brian Wallace of the Marion County Sheriff's Office says the woman required medical attention from the injuries to her face, If you have any information about Warren or where he could be located you are asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at ...More >>
    MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Police are searching for a man accused of beating a woman in Mullins Sunday.  Emanual Warren, 34, of Mullins is charged with domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.  Captain Brian Wallace of the Marion County Sheriff's Office says the woman required medical attention from the injuries to her face, If you have any information about Warren or where he could be located you are asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at ...More >>
  • Horry County Police investigating after shooting in Socastee

    Horry County Police investigating after shooting in Socastee

    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:32 PM EDT2018-07-22 17:32:43 GMT
    Source: Ian Klein/WMBF NewsSource: Ian Klein/WMBF News
    Source: Ian Klein/WMBF NewsSource: Ian Klein/WMBF News
    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Police are investigating Sunday after a shooting near a home in Socastee. Horry County Police responded to a home in the 5400 block of Figure 8 Road off Socastee Boulevard according to Cpt. John Harrelson.  One victim is confirmed to have been transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  WMBF News will continue to follow the developing story as more information comes available.  Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights ...More >>
    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Police are investigating Sunday after a shooting near a home in Socastee. Horry County Police responded to a home in the 5400 block of Figure 8 Road off Socastee Boulevard according to Cpt. John Harrelson.  One victim is confirmed to have been transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  WMBF News will continue to follow the developing story as more information comes available.  Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights ...More >>
Powered by Frankly