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To enable our partners, faith based organizations, and communities to address the holistic health of families in South Carolina. 
September/October 2021 e-Newsletter
In This Issue:
September is National Recovery Month. For more than a decade, various agencies, public and private organizations in South Carolina have worked and continue to work to address the impact of the opioid epidemic among the residents. Many families and friends have seen and continue to see the mental struggle our loved ones face mentally daily. In many families, it’s an issue they hope can be easily erased. While this cannot be the case, many other families and residents not dealing with the issue can help aid the many wrestling with the epidemic.

Hence, this newsletter challenges you to get involved in your respective community and congregation. Accept the challenge, not just to know more, but do something to help make South Carolina healthier.
  • Get educated about the opioid epidemic and trained in Mental Health First Aid.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms of a person experiencing a mental illness. 
  • Become a recovery support person as peer support specialists are not the only ones that can help.
  • Get educated about teen smoking and vaping and medication safety.
As always, know that Hold Out the Lifeline is available for consultation and technical assistance as you move forward. Remember that each one can reach one!  Join us
September is National Recovery Month

Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community 

Mental health experts have been warning about the psychological effects the pandemic may have had on many Americans. The economic stress, along with the anxiety and depression caused by the lockdown, could have a lasting impact, especially on the vulnerable population of recovering addicts. The disruption of treatment regimens, the loss of support groups, and the isolation of being home alone could also have a lasting impact. Already, recent studies have indicated an increase in addiction to alcohol and other substances.
A survey was conducted by Recovery Village on alcohol and drug use among 1,000 American adults (aged 18 and over). The results showed the two most commonly used substances were alcohol (88%) and marijuana (37%).  These results also explain the substantial increases reported in drug overdose deaths including those from opioid and prescription drug use.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) reported that in 2019, white males between the ages of 25-44 accounted for the majority of opioid overdose deaths in SC.

Millions of Teens are Still Vaping!

Teen vaping is an epidemic, and we need to act now! Help protect our children and young adults from e-cigarettes and nicotine addiction. E-cigarettes have been the most used tobacco product among youth in this country for several years and the problem isn’t going away. 

According to the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than 3.6 million youth are still using e-cigarettes. Today, in SC, over 22% of high school students currently use e-cigarettes.

We know vaping can damage the lungs and with damaged lungs a person has a harder time fighting respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. So, this isn’t just about not vaping, it’s also about taking another step to protect yourself from the Coronavirus.

Learn More
COVID-19 Updates

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced Thursday that the Palmetto State has officially reached a 50 percent vaccination rate among eligible residents.

In July, the agency announced that 50 percent of residents had received at least one dose of vaccine. Today’s milestone of 50 percent being completely vaccinated is more significant, as it puts South Carolina that much closer to the 70-80 percent vaccination goal.

“Reaching this 50 percent benchmark is a testament to the countless hours DHEC and partner staff have put into putting these life-saving doses into arms,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “It’s also indicative of our outreach efforts, work with local and state leaders, and so many others who understand how important vaccination is to ending this pandemic. That said, the mission is not over because the pandemic is not over. We need more South Carolinians to step up and get vaccinated so we can stamp COVID out once and for all.”

Vaccinations are available for ages 12 and older.  Us the locator button below to find a nearby place to get vaccinated, or call our Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110.

Find a Vaccination Location
Opioids & Safe Medication Storage
In 2019, 876 people in South Carolina died from opioid overdoses, and the number of deaths keeps increasing each year. These aren’t just numbers; they’re people in our community, people we know – brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and friends in need of our support and compassion. Act now to safely store and dispose of any opioids to help protect our community from misuse, addiction, overdose, and related death.

Although extremely addictive, opioids are still prescribed for the treatment of pain after surgery, an injury, cancer, back pain or osteoarthritis. Common types of opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine, and methadone.

Knowing how to store or get rid of medicine, especially opioids safely, can save lives! Unused medication can be harmful if taken by someone other than the person the doctor wrote for the prescription. A child or pet can be poisoned or die if they accidentally discover and take or eat medicine. Leftover or expired medicine is usually found in bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and even purses. Make sure you safely store or dispose of unused or expired medication before it hurts someone you love. Just remember these tips:

Safe storage – All prescribed medications should be stored safely and securely. Pills should never be loose or out of the pharmacy container. Don’t share your medications with anyone. Please keep them
  • Out of sight and away from children and pets
  • Stored in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf
Safe disposal – Find safe and secure drug drop boxes by asking at local sites. Make sure to remove the label or mark out your personal information on the bottle before you drop off your medications at the
  • Pharmacy or hospital
  • Policy station
  • Sherriff’s office
  • Public Safety office
For a list of collection sites, go to  or to

If a collection site or drug dropbox can’t be found nearby, safely get rid of medication by following these steps at home:
  1. Don’t flush the medicine down the toilet.
  2. Place the unused or expired medication in a plastic bag that can be sealed.
  3. Mix the medication in the bag with dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds.
  4. Seal the bag and put it in the trash.
  5. Tear off or scratch out any personal information from the prescription label and throw out the container.
Following these easy steps to store and/or dispose of prescriptions help keep your family and friends safe from opioids and other medications. This is your opportunity to protect and show support for those we care about and want to help. People struggling with opioid addiction may also need someone to listen. Make sure to show compassion and understanding when assisting someone addicted to opioids. Avoid “you” statements and judgmental comments. Focus on your concern for their health and refer them to a licensed counselor to receive the best treatment for their addiction.
Where and How to Dispose of Unused Medicines | FDA
Learn More
Mental Health First Aid
Just as CPR helps an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) assists someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis and connect the person with help. A public education program, the Mental Health First Aid course, introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews appropriate supports. Becoming a first aider does not prepare one to diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like, “What do I do?” and, “Where can someone find help?” This program also teaches common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia. 
For those desiring to be trained, please contact our office or visit our website to learn more.
Learn More
South Carolina Tobacco Quitline
FREE nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges are available to eligible South Carolinians who enroll in Quitline services.



  • Free one-on-one coaching (phone or web-based counseling and support) to quit smoking
  • Development of a personalized quit plan
Learn More
Upcoming Trainings & Other Learning Opportunities
Mental Health First Aid
Learn to identity, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

When: September 27-28, 2021

*Participants must attend both sessions to receive certification.

Opioid Epidemic Roundtable
Addressing the Opioid Epidemic in Faith-Based Settings.

When: September 29, 2021

Need Further Assistance? Contact Us:
website:     phone: 803-461-3201
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