Local organizations and leaders unite to combat Charleston’s opioid crisis and prevent overdose deaths

Local News

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD)- Local organizations, public officials, and the community gathered together Tuesday night at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park to identify solutions to Charleston’s opioid crisis and honor the lives lost to addiction.

One organization that is tackling addiction in the Lowcountry is WakeUp Carolina, a non-profit working to raise awareness about addiction & provide hope to those in recovery. The executive director, Nancy Steadman Shipman, started WakeUp Carolina after losing her son, Creighton, in 2016 to drug overdose.

“These lives weren’t lost in vain…We’re here to honor our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and our parents and they are shining on us,” Shipman said.

At the event on Tuesday night, WakeUp Carolina, the Charleston Center, law enforcement and local leaders invited the community to join them in fighting the opioid crisis in the Lowcountry.

“Approximately 147 lives are lost each day to an opioid overdose nationally. Charleston County is number two with the highest rates of overdose deaths in the state,” Caitlin Kratz, Program Administrator of Opioid Treatment Services, The Charleston Center, said.

The community was given free training on how to save life using Narcan—a drug that can reverse the effects of overdose. Each person who completed training was given a free Narcan kit.

Attendees were also given an opportunity to honor their loved lost to overdose death ones by lighting lanterns.

In 2018, in the Tri-County, 189 lives were lost to overdose. 

“Tonight, we wanted families and individuals and community allies to be able to have tools and education on what our community is doing to save lives, because we are all working very hard,” Shipman said.

If someone you know is overdosing call 9-11 immediately.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please reach out for help:

THE CHARLESTON CENTER: 24hr Helpline- (843) 722-0100


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