Marion healthcare center generate plan to combat opioid epidemic

MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Healthcare officials with Trinity Behavioral Care in Marion County introduced a new opiate response plan during the groundbreaking for their new facility Monday morning.

Marion County is the fourth most opioid-affected county in South Carolina. Donnie Brock, executive director of Trinity Behavioral Care, said the purpose of the new plan and facility is to help more people battling with addiction get well and stay well.

"It'll greatly expand our capacity so we can actually treat more people," Brock said. "Bottom line is we're going to have more people getting well and less people dying."

Marion's Trinity Behavioral Care plan is a collaboration with healthcare providers, Carolinas Hospital system, EMS and Marion law enforcement. It includes building a medication assistance therapy program and finding employment for recovering addicts.

Brock added the new state-of-the-art, 5,000 square foot facility will help with the increase in demand over the past few years. The center went from treating 12 opioid-addicted patients three years ago to treating over 500 across Marion, Dillon and Marlboro counties today.

"It will allow us to integrate healthcare between all the providers where you can have a one-stop shop." Brock said. "You can access primary healthcare at any shop you go to and we can get folks out of the ER quicker and get them into care, and hopefully have some case management to follow when folks fall between the cracks."

Terry Turner knows firsthand what it's like to be addicted to drugs. It's been 11 years, nine months and nine days of sobriety from alcohol and opioids.

"I was really in the pits of hell because I burned all my bridges. I lost all my family," Turner said. "You can hang around the wrong people, places and things, and it's so easy to become addicted and it's a tough job to recover."

Recovery is something that would not have been possible without Trinity. Turner said he gained a lot through their intensive outpatient treatment program and continues to practice daily the lessons learned years ago.

"I still use the tools that I learned today. They gave me the tools to use that help me in my daily life to continue on," Turner said.

Turner believes the new facility in Marion County is essential to helping people who are going through what he went through.

"It was tough. If I didn't have God in my life and programs like this, I wouldn't of never made it," Turner said.

Brock said the new opiate response plan should be fully implemented by June. The new facility is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2019.

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