CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – With youth crime rates and drug abuse continuing to rise in our area, Horry County leaders are working to try what some are saying is a growing epidemic in our community. Now, county leaders are taking matters in their own hands to learn more about drug abuse to better educate you and your children.
America is addicted to hydrocodone - that's the message from county leaders. They say 1 in every 100 people in jail or prison have either used drugs or are addicted.
Right now, there are more than 15,000 heroin overdoses annually. County leaders say Myrtle Beach has become a hub for drug sales. The county coroner sees at least two drug overdoses a week.
County leaders want to re-establish the DARE program and introduce a project called LEAD, starting off with seven schools between Horry and Georgetown Counties, that focuses on good choices and bad choices from gangs to drugs.
There is not one middle school free of influence of drugs, and the solicitor says arrests have been made in every one. Leaders say words are not enough; they are looking at more ways to show young people how their decisions today will impact their future.
"What I would love to do is change the culture, and that's going to start with kids, making them aware of other dangers that have popped up in the last few years, having them make better choices and even engaging parents on those same issues, creating and discussing and giving a game plan to avoid drugs at all costs," Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said.
Local leaders say young people under 25 are getting in trouble across Horry County, and one simple step to start preventing this is cleaning out your medicine cabinets.
The Community Violence sub-committee will meet with the county council on September 26 to go over the next steps in the process to combat drug use and crime here where we live.