First part of opioid epidemic study shows coordination needs to be made between resources

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Horry Georgetown Technical College Professor Renee Causey said the first 30 days of an opioid epidemic study she's leading reveal there are many resources in the area working to fight the epidemic, but little coordination between them.

"Nobody's keeping up with what this group's doing versus what this group's doing versus what this group's doing. So I believe that there needs to be regulations put in place so that at least everybody's on the same page," Causey said.

In the next phase of research, the professor said she wants to reach out to the organizations and resources she identified in the first phase and interview them.

"(I want to) see what kind of practices they have in place in terms of policies and procedures and then we'll match those policies and procedures with best practices, and try to formulate a continuum of services in Horry and Georgetown counties," Causey said.

However, in the first 30 days, Causey said she was able to not only conduct research, but also assist people with getting the help they both needed and wanted.

"What was happening during this first 30 days is I had a lot of individuals that would call me and say, 'Listen, I want to quit, I don't want to do. Do we have anything here? Who can help me?'" Causey said. "The goal is to save lives, of course."

Over the next 30 days, Causey said she wants to finalize a plan in terms of figuring out what's needed.

"I plan to talk to these individuals and see what their ideas are. Different doctors, different people that are involved in different training programs, visit other municipalities to see what they're doing and see how we can try to match up and develop an effective model," she said.

Causey hopes the research eventually turns into a national model used in fighting the opioid epidemic.

The $60,000 study is expected to take place over the course of 120 days. Causey said she expects to complete the research in July.

She will present the findings from the first 30 days of the study at Tuesday's Myrtle Beach City Council meeting.

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