Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The opioid epidemic is getting worse across the nation and our state is not excluded from it.
DHEC reports more than 600 people in South Carolina alone died from opioid overdoses last year.
“Heroin fell in love with it and used it every day for nine years,” Frank Sheheen said.
He is recovering addict. He said he is one of the lucky ones.
“I'm very grateful for that,” he explained.
DHEC reports a total of 616 total opioid-related deaths in our state just last year with 550 of those overdoses from prescription drugs.
“If anything, it's increasing. It's bad. I mean I hear all the time people that I know their friend or their family that has overdosed or died from opioids,” Sheheen said.
He now leads the South Carolina Recovering Professional Program.
He said the opioid epidemic is an issue that affects all of us.
“If someone thinks that they don't know someone that has this problem, then they’re fooling themselves,” he said.
You can help by getting rid of your old prescriptions.
“If somebody doesn’t need them, get rid of them,” Sheheen said.
The Drug Enforcement Agency is hosting a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
It is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
The day is designed to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way of getting rid of old prescription drugs. It is also an opportunity to educate people about the potential for abuse and medications.
There are several drop-off locations around the state.
Find out where you can bring your old medications, here: http://bit.ly/2xuQydK