By Linda Bianca.
I attended two meetings recently that provided me with valuable information about problems in our community.
The Heroin Awareness meeting presented by the City of Myrtle Beach was excellent. I hadn’t realized the extent of the problem. My heart aches for those addicted and their families. Many try heroin because of peer pressure and become addicted. Others had been taking prescription meds for pain, became addicted, and then turned to heroin. Some overdose the first time they try it. Some go through many painful withdrawals before they are finally able to stay clean. Drug addicts are responsible for many crimes of shoplifting, burglary and prostitution in order to feed their habits.
I also attended an Horry County Democratic Party Committee meeting on gun sense. We are seeking information so that we can understand how gun violence can be reduced. Horry County officers Wyatt and Conti were generous with their time and knowledge.
The issues of drug addiction, crime, gun violence and public safety are inseparable. We need more education before we can even begin to solve these problems. Parents need to continually have conversations with their children about how to handle situations when they are offered drugs or if they see a gun at a friend’s home. Can schools, churches and community groups help?
When people buy a gun, are they given information about handling and storing the gun safely?
The Horry County Police Department (HCPD) is currently understaffed. Why is the pay for county officers so much lower than for officers in Myrtle Beach? Would merging the sheriffs department and HCPD help?
Please continue the discussion and keep the focus on these problems.