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To enable our partners, faith based organizations, and communities to address the holistic health of families in South Carolina. 

Hold Out The Lifeline:
A Mission To Families

In This Issue:

South Carolina’s Opioid Epidemic: A Community Issue

As we continue to experience the coronavirus (Omicron), the opioid epidemic continues to pose a serious threat as well. The opioid epidemic is the leading cause of overdose death, with over 70,000 Americans dying annually from drug overdoses.  Over two-thirds (67.8%) are caused by opioids. Many Americans who become addicted to opioids do so after initially receiving a prescription as a treatment regimen for pain following surgery. We also know that many people use other varied substances in an attempt to control and/or ease their symptoms due to their mental health problems, while others develop mental health problems related to their compulsive drug use. In either case, people suffering from mental health conditions are more likely to be prescribed opioids and develop a dependence on them. Mental health issues are at the core of what is happening in our society.

Suicide is increasing. Opioid-related deaths are increasing.  Along with mental health professionals, faith- and community-based organizations must increase their understanding of the opioid crisis. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has developed an Opioid Epidemic Practical Toolkit to guide community and faith leaders’ response to the opioid epidemic, including bringing hope and healing to the addicted and reduce the stigma associated with substance abuse. The toolkit shares information on how to recognize substance abuse and ways to address the epidemic. Recommendations include being available by opening your doors, increasing awareness, building community capacity, getting ahead of the problem, promoting resources, and connecting, collaborating, and celebrating for maximum success.

Click Here To Access The Toolkit

Know the Signs of Overdose and Overmedication

Call 911 immediately if a person exhibits any of these symptoms.  
Signs of Overdose
  • Face is extremely pale and/or clammy to the touch.
  • The body is limp.
  • Fingernails or lips have a blue or purple tint.
  • The person is making gurgling or rattling breathing noises.
  • The person cannot be awakened from sleep or cannot speak.
  • Breathing is very slow or stopped.
  • The heartbeat is very slow or stopped.
Signs of Overmedication
  • Unusual sleepiness or drowsiness.
  • Mental confusion, slurred speech, or intoxicated behavior.
  • Slow or shallow breathing.
  • Extremely small “pinpoint” pupils. (This can also be a sign of overdose.)
  • Slow heartbeat or low blood pressure.  "Nodding out" or difficulty being awakened from sleep.
Learn More

Opioid Safe Medication Storage and Disposal

Safe Medication
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 drop box 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

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

COVID-19 Updates

CDC and SC DHEC Updates and Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

Quarantine separates and limits the movement of people who were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you were exposed, quarantine and stay away from others.

Click on the flyer for more information.


Isolation separates sick people with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19 or have been a close contact and are waiting test results, isolate, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Click on the flyer for more information.


The following is attributable to CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky:

“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”

Learn More
Telling Your Friends and Family that You Tested Positive for COVID-19
If you test positive, you can help limit disease spread by notifying others.
  • Make a list of your close contacts: A close contact is someone who’s been within 6 feet of you for at least 15 consecutive minutes (indoors or outdoors) over a 24-hour period
    • Your list of close contacts should go back to 2 days before you had symptoms or 2 days before your test if you had no symptoms (you could have been contagious then)
  • Begin notifying your close contacts:
    • Reach out to as many of your close contacts as you can, and let them know you tested positive
    • A fully vaccinated close contact: (person who has received all eligible vaccines)
      • does not need to quarantine but should be sure to wear a mask for 10 days
      • should get tested if they have symptoms
      • should get tested on day 5 after being near you even if they don’t have symptoms
    • An unvaccinated or partially vaccinated close contact: (person who has not received all eligible vaccines)
      • needs quarantine for 5 days (stay home and avoid contact with other people)
      • should get tested on day 5 after being near you even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask around others for 10 days
      • should get tested if they have any symptoms
Learn More

Need Further Assistance? Contact Us:
website:     phone: 803-401-5307
Copyright © 2022 Hold Out the Lifeline, All rights reserved.

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