Deaths from opioid drug overdoses have increased nationwide, and South Carolina is not immune to this trend. With the overprescription of opiate-based painkillers in the last decade comes an increase in dependence and addiction issues. Obtaining prescription painkillers on the street is expensive, so many addicts turn to heroin to feed their addiction.
Heroin is often mixed with other drugs by dealers to increase its potency. One medication that has seen an increase in related overdose deaths is fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful prescription painkiller and can result in overdoses in much smaller amounts than heroin. The influx of fentanyl-laced heroin on the streets is resulting in greater numbers of deaths due to overdose in South Carolina.
South Carolina is determined not to let the opioid issues in the state become as bad as other states like Florida and Ohio. They have implemented a statewide data registry to help curb “doctor shopping” among patients. Since most heroin users started off using and abusing prescription painkillers, the database looks to nip addiction behaviors in the bud before patients continue on to riskier behaviors.