Law enforcement teaming up with health professionals to combat addiction crisis

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) Several local police departments teaming up with medical professionals on Monday, June 10th to address addiction in the Lowcountry during a summit held at the Rita Hollings Auditorium, 58 Coming St., from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Law enforcement officials say that addiction is a public health crisis in our area.

“People are dying regularly of this problem,” Chief Luther Reynolds, Charleston Police Department, said.

Chief Reynolds says that drug addiction is a major problem facing the Lowcountry.

“Probably a majority of the people we are talking to right now have had some impact and some effect by this issue,” Chief Reynolds said.

Addiction and overdose numbers are on the rise. Chief Reynolds says it’s at crisis level with Opioids at the center.

A lot of time it starts with an injury, with a prescription from a doctor, with somebody taking a drug and they have an addictive personality, and they become hooked on that drug, and then they’ll do anything to get more of those drugs. Then they will go from a prescription an easier assessable drug, like heroin, Chief Reynolds said.  

At the Addiction Crisis Summit, law enforcement agencies, on the front lines of the crisis, are teaming up with experts from the fields of medicine, mental health, substance abuse treatment and recovery as part of an addiction crisis taskforce to tackle the issue together & find solutions to the overdose epidemic plaguing our community.

“We have to look at why people are becoming addicted, how we can help their families, how we can give them assistance not only getting off drugs, but staying off drugs,” Chief Reynolds said.

Chief Luther Reynolds says that that law enforcement cannot fight the crisis alone.

“The police department can not arrest there way out of this problem,” Chief Reynolds said.

But it is going to require the entire community working together to break the chains of addiction & end the crisis.

“If we can save one life, everything is worth it,” Chief Reynolds said.

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