Rice organizes anti-drug task force summit in the Pee Dee - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Rice organizes anti-drug task force summit in the Pee Dee

Rep. Tom Rice addresses a crowd at an anti-drug task force summit. (Source: Audrey Biesk) Rep. Tom Rice addresses a crowd at an anti-drug task force summit. (Source: Audrey Biesk)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice hosted an anti-drug task force summit at the Dr's. Bruce and Lee Foundation Library on Wednesday to bring light to the drug epidemic he said the region is facing.

“We’ve got to do a better job of figuring out mechanisms to diminish it, whether it be by controlling our southern body like I said before, where most of this stuff is coming from, whether it be doing a better job at riding out the facilitators, whether it be doing a better job for treatment for addicts," Rice said.

Rice said Congress has passed at least a dozen bills in the last couple years as the drug epidemic becomes more widespread. However, he said Washington can’t fix it alone.

The anti-drug task force unit is one step closer to finding solutions in battling an epidemic that is not limited to one area, and is one that crosses every racial, age and state jurisdiction.

The goal of the event was also for law enforcement officials and healthcare professionals across the Grand Strand and Pee Dee to discuss possible solutions they feel are not being trade. Rice said other districts in the state were holding anti-drug task force summits, so he wanted to do the same.

“When you look at the percentage growth, it's shocking how this epidemic is not shrinking," Rice said. "It's not like most diseases that we see where we are coming up with new treatments and dramatic reductions in afflicted people. This is on the opposite side."

The panels shared insights and current efforts, statistics of the heroin and opioid abuse in the communities, and an opportunity for a question-and-answer session. 

“We can fund some of these local programs, but this is going to have to be all boots on the ground at the local level to root out the sources of these problems,” Rice said. “We need more programs for people who can’t afford it. Anybody can go to drug court. The reason they don’t go is because it's hard and they don’t want to.”

Nicki White, a drug court graduate, spoke to the crowd, saying she was sitting in jail as she was approached to enter the treatment program.

"Maybe most people thinking it’s just criminals and an easy let-off for criminals who just take the program, but I wanted to let people know drug court can change someone’s life," White said.

The goal for White was to become a productive part of society again instead of a hindrance.

“It puts offenders like myself - repeat offenders - back in the community with the life skills we haven’t learned or didn’t know or forgot, and there are consequences for our actions if we don’t follow it," White said.

White spent five months in jail before going into the 20-month treatment program. Law enforcement officials added that locking someone up does not exactly cure the disease. Instead, society must reach the people’s needs and not stop until there is full recovery.

“I haven’t looked back and its been a blessing," said White.

Rice said there will be one more anti-drug task force summit in the Grand Strand, but the date isn’t set yet. He also plans to branch out and speak at the schools in an effort to educate students and teachers.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Surfside pharmacist expands business to incorporate ice cream parlor

    Surfside pharmacist expands business to incorporate ice cream parlor

    Sunday, July 15 2018 7:23 PM EDT2018-07-15 23:23:26 GMT
    The ice cream parlor was always a dream of Bundrick and will be open until 11PM (Source: WMBF News)The ice cream parlor was always a dream of Bundrick and will be open until 11PM (Source: WMBF News)

    SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -- A dream has become a reality for one Surfside Beach business owner who has expanded his pharmacy into an ice cream parlor, and what better way to celebrate than on National Ice Cream Day. Daniel Bundrick is the owner of the Surfside Beach Pharmacy, now when you think about a pharmacy you probably don’t associate it with ice cream, but back in the day pharmacies did far more than just fill prescriptions and that’s exactly why Bundrick opened Th...

    More >>

    SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -- A dream has become a reality for one Surfside Beach business owner who has expanded his pharmacy into an ice cream parlor, and what better way to celebrate than on National Ice Cream Day. Daniel Bundrick is the owner of the Surfside Beach Pharmacy, now when you think about a pharmacy you probably don’t associate it with ice cream, but back in the day pharmacies did far more than just fill prescriptions and that’s exactly why Bundrick opened Th...

    More >>
  • Police: Woman shot at, punched ex-boyfriend in Walmart parking lot

    Police: Woman shot at, punched ex-boyfriend in Walmart parking lot

    Sunday, July 15 2018 2:04 PM EDT2018-07-15 18:04:53 GMT
    Source: PixabaySource: Pixabay
    Source: PixabaySource: Pixabay
    NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Warrants could be issued as early as Sunday after a Myrtle Beach woman allegedly shot at her ex-boyfriend  and his new girlfriend in the parking lot of Walmart on Highway 17. North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling says the incident happened in the parking lot around 1:20 a.m.. According to authorities the female suspect followed her ex-boyfriend to the Walmart before confronting him and punching him several times in the face. Dowling ...More >>
    NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Warrants could be issued as early as Sunday after a Myrtle Beach woman allegedly shot at her ex-boyfriend  and his new girlfriend in the parking lot of Walmart on Highway 17. North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling says the incident happened in the parking lot around 1:20 a.m.. According to authorities the female suspect followed her ex-boyfriend to the Walmart before confronting him and punching him several times in the face. Dowling ...More >>
  • One killed, one hurt after dumpster falls on workers at Campbell's factory in Maxton

    One killed, one hurt after dumpster falls on workers at Campbell's factory in Maxton

    Sunday, July 15 2018 1:39 PM EDT2018-07-15 17:39:28 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)
    ROBESON COUNTY, NC (WMBF) - One man is dead and another seriously injured after an incident at the Campbell's Soup factory in Maxton Sunday morning. According to Sheriff Kenneth Sealey deputies responded to a 911 call around 11 a.m. Authorities believe the workers were attempting to move a dumpster using a forklift when it shifted, falling on two people.  The status of the seriously injured man is unknown at this time.  Sealey says the incident is still under investi...More >>
    ROBESON COUNTY, NC (WMBF) - One man is dead and another seriously injured after an incident at the Campbell's Soup factory in Maxton Sunday morning. According to Sheriff Kenneth Sealey deputies responded to a 911 call around 11 a.m. Authorities believe the workers were attempting to move a dumpster using a forklift when it shifted, falling on two people.  The status of the seriously injured man is unknown at this time.  Sealey says the incident is still under investi...More >>
Powered by Frankly