Tag Archives: medication

DHEC in the News: Flu, opioids, coastal floods

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Has the flu loosened its grip in SC? Here’s what the numbers say

It seems the worst has finally passed in regard to flu activity in South Carolina.

Widespread in the Palmetto State for the past 10 weeks, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control officials now believe the illness is present only on a regional basis.

Opioid prescribing limits to be imposed in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The South Carolina Medicaid Agency and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina will limit how many opioids doctors can prescribe to patients in some cases.

This comes after Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order in December establishing an emergency response team to battle the opioid crisis in South Carolina.

General Interest

Coastal floods to be nearly as common as high tides in South Carolina within 80 years, NOAA says

Tidal flooding is accelerating along the South Carolina coast, including at Charleston, federal researchers say. The coast might flood nearly every day by the turn of the century almost 80 years from now.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report is the latest in a series of alerts which forecast worsening conditions for South Carolina and the East Coast as seas and storm-surge rise.

DHEC in the News: Flu, opioids

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Flu activity no longer widespread in South Carolina after difficult season that has killed 201

Flu activity in South Carolina is considered to be regional, not widespread, for the first time since the flu began sweeping the state in the beginning of the year, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Wednesday.

Though influenza has been on the decline for a few weeks after a difficult season, the first week of March saw only 2,192 confirmed cases.

There were almost three times that amount the week before, with 6,332 cases.

DHEC report shows flu is slowing down in SC after 200 deaths

Over the course of what’s been an especially difficult flu season, there have been more than 200 deaths in South Carolina.

But a new flu report shows the flu is slowing down in our state.

ODPS preparing for opioids; city officers training to use Narcan

The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety is preparing its officers for the growing opioid problem, Chief Mike Adams said Tuesday.

“Drug overdose is currently the leading cause of accidental death in the United States with 62,497 lethal drug overdoses in 2016 for an average of one every eight and a half minutes,” Adams said.

“It took a while to get here to Orangeburg, but it’s here,” he said.

DHEC in the News: ‘Widespread’ flu activity, opioid addiction

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

‘Widespread’ Flu Activity Reported Across SC

COLUMBIA, SC (WTAT-TV) — New health data in from the state health department reveals widespread flu activity in South Carolina.

The report is from December 10th through the 16th and the most recent data DHEC is providing.

They say those numbers present a 56% spike from the previous week.

Painkiller addictions often start in the doctor’s office, but prescribers are rarely punished

To hear Dr. Charles Bruyere tell it, his problem was he had too much empathy. That’s why he doled out painkillers at such a high rate, why he landed in jail and why he was stripped of his medical license, he said.

The former physician, who operated a cash-only pain management clinic in Greenwood, said he didn’t know he was breaking the law by writing prescriptions for future dates when he would be out of the country. And anyway, he doesn’t believe in opioid addiction, or doesn’t believe doctors should have to take responsibility. The blame, he said, lies with the American people.

DHEC Encourages Disposal of Unused Prescription Drugs through Take-Back Programs

Saturday, October 22, marks the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Held twice a year, this national observance aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs, while educating the public about the potential for abuse of medication.

In South Carolina, 102 prescriptions for painkillers are now written for every 100 residentsIn 2015, there were 570 accidental prescription drug overdose deaths in the state.

To help address this problem, DHEC is working with health care providers and pharmacists across the state to identify and stop prescription drug abuse. DHEC’s Bureau of Drug Control is charged with administering the South Carolina prescription monitoring program.  The centralized database, known as the South Carolina Reporting and Identification Prescription Tracking System (SCRIPTS), allows authorized users access to controlled substance dispensing data, helping to make it easier for South Carolina doctors and pharmacists to identify and report potential prescription drug abuse.

The intent of the database is to improve the state’s ability to identify and stop the diversion of prescription drugs in an efficient and cost-effective manner while not hindering the appropriate medical use of illicit controlled substances where there is a valid prescriber-patient or pharmacist-patient relationship.

Make use of take-back programs

DHEC encourages the disposal of unused household medications through take-back programs, as well as drop-off collection boxes, as a way to effectively serve and protect the citizens of South Carolina.

The take-back programs help reduce childhood overdoses, restrict household drug theft, limit the accumulation of drugs by the elderly, protect our physical environment, reduce pharmaceutical contamination of fresh water, and eliminate waste.

Also, research indicates that patients often do not take prescribed medications as directed, if at all. Thus, many unused medications are diverted, abused, and misused and could potentially lead to a major cause of accidental poisonings and arrests. The South Carolina law enforcement community has seen arrest rates for prescription drug-related offenses rise in the past several years.

Helping to protect our environment

In addition, after being flushed or poured down a drain, many medicines pass through sewer and septic systems. Because these systems cannot always treat or remove the medicines, they may end up in streams, lakes and groundwater. This can cause adverse effects in fish and other aquatic wildlife as well as unintentional human exposure to chemicals in the medications.

Keeping prescription and over-the-counter medicines out of the environment is an important way to prevent pollution. Drug disposal programs and events like drug take-back days provide a safe alternative to disposing unwanted or old medications.

Find out where to go 

To locate a collection site nearest you, click here.