Actor Daniel Baldwin joins local fight against heroin epidemic

Actor Daniel Baldwin joins local fight against heroin epidemic

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Each day, law enforcement faces the reality of the heroin epidemic nationwide.

Now, the question that needs to be answered is how do residents come together as a community and stop this epidemic on a local level.

"Those are the types of things that you guys need to come together and talk about - how to get these things funded and get these kids safe," said actor Daniel Baldwin, an alumni of Saving Opiate Burden Addicts, or SOBA.

On Monday, those from SOBA addressed a room full of law enforcement officers, parents of children who are fighting their addictions or have already lost them, and addicts themselves.

The meeting was an effort to come to terms with the situation at hand - heroin is taking lives.

"It's a battle that we fight every day. It's never going to ... right now, it's not stopping," said Horry County Police Sgt. Thomas DelPercio.

DelPercio said at any given time, there are several investigations focused on trying to get heroin off the streets. Until then, the founder and CEO of SOBA, Greg Hannley, said the community faces a stronger strand of heroin than ever before.

"Literally living and dying would be knowing how to measure out one grain of salt, more or less," Hannley said. "It's that potent."

Right now, the drug Narcan is used to revive someone who has overdosed.

However, when first responders revive the same person, one, two and even three times a day, DelPercio said it is law enforcement that feels the blow.

That leads departments to look into programs like SOBA, one that is focused on long-term recovery. On Monday, the group reached one 22-year-old heroin addict who happened to be in the crowd with her mother who is a nurse and running out of options.

Hannley said addressing the problem is only the beginning for the local community, and now it's time to take action.

"It's better to be afraid and take action as an emergency then to have it be too late," Hannley said. "And when it's too late in your family, all of the should have, would have, could haves don't matter anymore."

While SOBA offers their services long distance, there are treatment centers in Texas, Arizona, New Jersey and California.

However, after Monday's meeting, those from SOBA went and checked out a local facility with the hope of opening a center along the Grand Strand.

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