Solicitor plans ‘forced rehab’ for Horry County drug addicts

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The solicitor for Horry County says he’s working on a program that would force people addicted to drugs to go through detox and counseling while in jail.

Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says when it comes to treatment centers in South Carolina, the state is very limited. He hopes his plan will put an end to the opioid addictions throughout Horry County.

Richardson is working with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office to come up with a solution to get addicts treatment during their most vulnerable time.

“We’re going to try to get those guys back on the straight and narrow,” states Richardson.

Richardson says heroin is in some way responsible for the majority of arrests in Horry County and with an addicted population, the solicitor says drug users will go through rehabilitation, even if it’s forced.

In a new program will begin next month and Richardson says as soon as an addict is arrested, they’re getting treatment and counseling.

“We can’t send them all to prison, but we can put them in forced rehab through jail, and if they don’t want to do that, they can sit there for their whole sentence,” justifies Richardson.

The addict would get treatment while behind bars and would be required to pay the $25 a week for a drug test until they complete the program.

“We’re trying to think outside the box and not cost the county any money by doing this,” explains Richardson. “In fact, if we reduce the time that a person has to stay in pre-trial, it may actually save the county some money.”

Richardson says he also realizes police and his officer have to push out the drug traffickers, and that’s why he’s pushing for 15 to 20 year sentences for anyone caught trafficking heroin or fentanyl.

“We’re going to send them away for long periods of time and continue doing it. This is not the place to come to push drugs,” the solicitor warns.

This program is a modified form of drug court the Horry County solicitor’s office already has in place.

Richardson says that program has proven to be very effective in the county, but with the number of addicts they see come in, his office is having to add resources to the program.

The program, which begins in September, will likely require each addict to complete a 90-day detox program.

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