Consortium formed to fight drug abuse

January 27, 2019

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Caresouth Carolina is using money from a Rural Communities Opioid Response Planning grant to develop a consortium in collaboration with community partners in Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Marlboro and Lee counties to fight the growing problem of drug abuse.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Office of Rural Health awarded the grant.

Drug overdose was responsible for the deaths of more than 70,000 Americans in 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The goal of the consortium is to destigmatize the initial steps to obtain help for an opiate or other substance-use disorder, according to CareSouth Carolina.

The consortium will also work to end opiate overdose in the five-county region and beyond by working to increase access to Narcan, a life-saving antidote to opiate overdose.

Daniel Myers, coordinator for the Rural Opioid Community Response Consortium, said in an announcement that the organization has three main objectives: prevention of opiate-use disorders, treatment of opiate and other substance use disorders and sustained recovery for people of all ages who are struggling with an opiate-use disorder or dependency.

“We want to make our communities healthier and enhance the lives of people here in the Pee Dee.” Myers said. “We are here to make people aware that there is help and to let the community know that we’re going to find a way to fix this.”

In addition to CareSouth Carolina, consortium members and support partners include Trinity Behavioral Care, ALPHA Behavioral Health Center, Rubicon Family Counseling Services, McLeod Regional Medical Center, Tri-County Community Mental Health Center, Pee Dee Mental Health Center, Northeastern Rural Health Network, as well as first-responders and human service agencies in the five-county region.

Chesterfield, Dillon, Darlington, Lee and Marlboro counties will be served by the planning grant.

“Many in these communities don’t have access to resources, and many don’t have insurance, but they’re still hurting,” Myers said. “This type of situation sets us up with an epidemic. They want relief, but don’t know where to turn.”

In 2019, the group will be developing plans to address the worsening opiate epidemic, and developing a plan for continuing the work of the consortium in the future.

The plan will include increasing access to opiate and other substance use, treatment, prevention, and recovery services. In addition, the consortium is developing plans for getting more workers involved treating people with drug problems.

For more information on how to get help for an opiate or other substance-use disorder, or if you are interested in the consortium speaking to your organization, contact Daniel Myers at 843-624-1891 or email daniel.myers@caresouth-carolina.com.