LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) hosted a Community Forum about the Opioid Crisis. Speakers included the county coroner, a state representative of the Opioid Legislative Prevention/ Education committee, an addictionologist, and a clinical psychologist.
Speakers addressed the causes of the crisis, nation-wide and local trends, SC legislation, the impact on the developing teenage brain, and how to reduce the use of opioids. Teens for Healthy Youth addressed the twelve sectors of the community issuing a call to action to combat the opioid crisis. One-hundred and eighty community members attended, including public officials, and local TV stations.
The audience took a Prescription Pain Medication Survey designed by the coalition consultant and found that 82% learned more about the opioid crisis and the associated problems and 88% planned to share the material with others. Also, 64% of adults reported that their physicians did not talk to them about opioid use and abuse, and 71% said if their child was prescribed pain medication, the doctors did not speak with them about the potential for abuse. When asked how children or teens accessed prescription pain medication not prescribed to them, 48% perceived it was accessed from a family medicine cabinet while 43% perceived it came from friends.
The data shows a need to educate adult and youth about safe medication storage and to educate doctors about informing patients of the dangers of opioid use and abuse.