South Carolina Drug Problems
The 26th largest state in the nation, South Carolina, has a population of about 4 million people. With beautiful white sand beaches, gorgeous mountain trails and amazing old forests, outstanding cities and quaint Colonial villages, South Carolina is a major tourist destination. The state also played a huge role in shaping the history of the United States, so it has dozens of historic sites. Despite its tranquility and beauty, drug problems do exist in South Carolina.
Drug Problems in South Carolina
Of South Carolina residents who receive treatment, the vast majority go to drug rehabs for marijuana usage. According to Whitehouse.gov, roughly 5,500 individuals received treatment for marijuana, compared to under 2,000 who received treatment for other opiates and 2,000 who received treatment for cocaine.
Although marijuana is among the most prevalent of illegal drugs used within the state, it’s not as common as cocaine, including crack cocaine. Heroin, methamphetamine and drugs, like ecstasy, are used at clubs. Not as many people receive treatment for these issues because they don’t believe they have a problem. They think that because they only use it recreationally, or on weekends, or since they haven’t been caught, that it’s not affecting them.
It’s very important that when friends and family members realize that there is a problem that they stage an intervention. Although this may not change anything, it may send their loved one down the path toward help.
South Carolina: Drug Trends and Predictions
Investigations have revealed that the vast majority of illicit substances enter through ports in Charleston. All of these drugs are distributed in urban areas, although marijuana and meth are both found throughout the state. Crack cocaine is the biggest threat and it arrives by ship, by truck, by bus and by courier, making it difficult for officials to track, so it’s likely to continue to be a threat. Meth use is also on the rise, though the risk isn’t as great. Between 2007 and 2008, the percentage of meth lab seizure incidents increased by 231%.
However, even as the percentage of meth labs increase, surveys conducted showed that among junior high and high school students, the attitude toward crystal meth is changing, and more students are associating it with causing harm. Eventually, this could lead to reduced usage.
Additionally, South Carolina is training law enforcement to recognize drugged driving and familiarize people with the danger of participating in drugged driving. They’re also encouraging drug-free community programs that encourage teens to stay away from drugs and to get involved in their local communities. The state also implemented programs to combat drug use in high intensity drug trafficking areas. Ideally, all of these programs and changes will inform the general public about the dangers of illicit drugs, including the consequences, and make them less likely to engage in drug usage.
Even so, it’s estimated that more than 26,000 people will be arrested in South Carolina on charges pertaining to drugs.
Drug Abuse Statistics in South Carolina
Although only about 7% of residents of South Carolina engage in illegal drug use, as compared to the national average of 8%, the rate of deaths as a result of drug use is greater than the national average. In 2007, 584 people died of illicit drug use.
However, 6.7% of residents in South Carolina reported that they used illegal drugs of some kind at least once per month. The national average is slightly more than 8%. Approximately 3% of residents reported using illegal drugs other than marijuana, which is only slightly less than the national average of 3.5%.
Law enforcement believes that about 208,500 residents of South Carolina use marijuana, 34,200 use cocaine and 1,900 use heroin. Prescription drugs, inhalants and hallucinogens are also part of the drug problem.
South Carolina is a beautiful state, but because of its location and its large ports, a large amount of illicit drugs enter every year. Law enforcement is developing ways to handle the problem.