Prescription Drug Summit

Circle Park Behavioral Services and the Florence County Coalition for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services held a summit to address how prescription drug abuse can lead to heroin addiction.

"The overuse of prescription drugs and the extremely potent heroin coming into the state that's laced with synthetic opioids. It's scary. It's a really, really potent form of drug that can kill folks immediately," said Sara Goldsby, Acting Director S.C. Department Alcohol, Other Drug Abuse Services.

Educators, medical practitioners, law enforcement officers, and religious and community leaders took part in the summit.

Clyde Nance with Circle Park said it was important to hold the summit to educate the community on the rise in heroin use in Florence County.

"Keith von Lutcken, our county coroner, was one of the first people to come to us and say he's seeing this on a weekly basis. This thing is getting out of control. We need to rally the forces here," said Nance.

Deputies said they're seeing more people overdose on heroin on the lower end of Florence County, especially in the Johnsonville community.

"A lot of folks who would never be considered to be part of the drug culture wound up on street heroin because they first became addicted to prescription opioids. These are people are who professionals or they live, you know, good solid lives and you would never expect that they would be involved in the drug culture. Yet, this thing gets ahold of them and it's very difficult to break, almost impossible without professional help,” said Major Michael Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.

Nance said they’re trying to stop the problem before it becomes an epidemic, as it has in other areas.

"It is an incredibly difficult situation in Horry County, down toward the beach. But, we're hearing about it seeping into Florence County. Mainly through the lower part of the county. And, so, we want to go ahead and rally our services, resources here, so we can minimize the potential impact it has here and not ravage our community as bad as it has,” said Nance.

Circle Park has launched a campaign against prescription drug abuse featuring television and radio ads. Here are two of the video ads below...