Myrtle Beach hosts prescription drug take-back to help fight opioid crisis

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 6:11 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Police Department partnered with Shoreline Behavioral Health to host a Take-Back Prescription Drug event.

The event allows members of the community to drop off unwanted or unused prescription drugs to be disposed of properly.

“Pouring them down the drain, pouring them in the toilet, putting them in the trash can, It’s not the best way to dispose of them, said Master Corporal Tom Vest, the Public Information Officer for the Myrtle Beach Police Department. “Here, we will make them inert, so the active ingredients are no longer effective and then we’ll dispose of them so they’ll no longer fall into the wrong hands.”

Efforts like these combat the nationwide opioid crisis, also prevalent in the Palmetto State.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, in 2020, the total number of opioid-involved deaths in the state increased by 59%, from 876 to 1,400 deaths.

“A lot of times we have like cabinets full of old medication,” said Tanisha Bellamy, with Partner for Success Coordinator for Shorelines Behavioral Health. “Some of the medications can have major side effects or are heavily prescribed by doctors and people just don’t know what to do with them. So we just try to give them the opportunity to have a safe space to bring them back and know that law enforcement will dispose of them properly.”

Events like these make sure that medication isn’t accidentally taken by a child or by someone who has a history of drug abuse.

Event partners stress that drug addiction can happen to anyone.

“We have people of all different ages, races, social backgrounds,” said Jessie Marlowe, The Director of Public Relations and Prevention Services at Shoreline Behavioral Health. Everything. People who have money. People who don’t have money. It really doesn’t matter.”

Shoreline Behavioral Health offers a variety of services to the problem of alcohol and substance use disorders in Horry County.

“They should definitely reach out to us,” said Marlowe. “Basically we meet people where they’re at. We offer treatment services that we do individual treatment service plans with.”

Shoreline also gives away Narcan and offers Fentanyl test strips.

“If you do use things and you’re not sure if there’s fentanyl in it and you want to protect yourself you can test the product for fentanyl as well. So we have products like that for people to ultimately help them save their lives.”

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