Horry County is “now considered one of the nation’s heroin hubs.” This stunning statement from a special report broadcast by WPDE-TV in April helped to alert area residents to the deadly grip in our community of this rapidly-growing epidemic.
Heroin in Horry will be the focus of special Community Awareness event on Tuesday, August 16, 6:30-8:30 pm at the Base Recreation Center in Myrtle Beach. The public is invited to attend.
According to Myrtle Beach Crime Prevention Officer Henry Bresadola, “This program will help all of us better understand this major crisis that contributes to crime and is a threat to the social fabric of our community.”
Young Democrats with the Horry County Democratic Party are deeply concerned about this crisis and offer ideas for new approaches to address it.
Tess Emiroglu, 22, HCDP’s 3rd Vice Chair, lifelong Horry resident and full time CCU student, says prevention programs in public schools are essential.
“Horry County can start to battle this epidemic by having a real, honest conversation about the effects of heroin and other drugs as students enter high school,” she said. “It might be uncomfortable and it may not be what we want to discuss, but talking with kids about the realities of drug use through a comprehensive drug education program — instead of brushing it under the rug like we always do — will give young people the knowledge they need to make the right decisions for healthy, happy lives.”
Expansion of community services for drug addicts and their families should be a top priority, according to Jennifer Cangeme, 31, a CCU graduate, former HCDP 3rd Vice Chair and current Clyburn Political Fellow with the South Carolina Democratic Party.
“As a Young Democrat, I believe that expanded mental health services deserves the utmost priority. Unfortunately, our community is clouded by the stigma of addiction and heroin abuse. Heroin addiction no longer has one face; it’s our mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, teachers, doctors and lawyers. No one is exempt! The public needs to understand that reality of heroin addiction,” emphasized Cangeme. “Instead of shunning and jailing those suffering from addiction and mental illnesses, we need to offer help and support.”
The Community Awareness event is sponsored by the City of Myrtle Beach Neighborhood Watch program. Speakers will include a recovering heroin addict and a mother of a heroin-addicted child. Officials from multiple agencies will also participate, including the Drug Enforcement Agency, Substance Abuse Agency, MB Fire Department, Coroner’s Office, and Heroin Response Protocol Team.
The Base Recreation Center is located at 800 Gabreski Lane, Myrtle Beach 29577. See this link for a google map and contact information.