South Carolina Addiction Treatment
The number of methamphetamine labs in South Carolina is growing rapidly. Between 2007 and 2009, meth lab seizures increased 231 percent. In the same time period, meth lab seizures across the nation only rose 76 percent.
The large number of meth lab seizures in South Carolina is linked to “smurfing,” the bulk purchase of pseudoephedrine (PSE). PSE is an active ingredient in many cold and allergy medicines, which can also be used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Annually, more than 30,000 South Carolina residents enter treatment centers to overcome an addiction. Many rehab admissions involve substances such as:
South Carolina is located near major highways, large seaports and international airports, making it a susceptible area for drug trafficking. Illicit substances are frequently transported by private vehicle, commercial truck, airline, train or cargo ship. The state has become a huge transit center for distributing drugs across the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
Some of the most common ways drugs are imported and exported in South Carolina include:
- Highways: Interstate 95 travels through the eastern part of South Carolina. Expanding from Florida to Maine, the route is generally used for transporting heroin and cocaine. In addition, many local dealers receive marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine supplies directly from Atlanta via Interstate 20.
- Seaports: South Carolina’s three major seaports are Charleston, Georgetown and Port Royal. While each port has international shipments, Port Charleston faces the greatest risk for drug trafficking. With more than 40 shipping lines, the Port of Charleston gets container shipments from more than 140 countries across the globe.
- Airports: Although South Carolina has several large airports, many flights are domestic. Nonstop flights from Columbia to New York City and Houston are used to smuggle drugs to and from major U.S. distribution centers.
Criminal groups and gangs are also causing disturbances in cities and communities throughout South Carolina. For instance, Myrtle Beach’s Bike Week occurs every May. This event attracts thousands of bikers across the nation, including members of the outlaw motorcycle gang (OMG). The weeklong festivities are a prime time for OMG members to organize drug transactions for the upcoming year.
If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for substance abuse, we can help you find a rehab facility that’s right for you. Call us today to learn about treatment solutions that will fit your needs.
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Laws of South Carolina Drug Use
The possession and distribution of illicit substances comes with varying degrees of penalties in South Carolina. The first offense for possessing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) is a misdemeanor that includes time in jail as well as a fine. Subsequent offenses have greater charges depending on the type of drug and amount involved.
Drugs are broken down into five schedules. For instance, schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and cannot be used for medical purposes. If a drug is listed in schedule V, however, it has a low possibility for abuse and may have an accepted medical use.
|Schedule||Substances Included||Criminal Charge||Potential Sentencing|
|Schedule I||Opiates, heroin, MDMA, LSD, synthetic cannabinoids, methaqualone, GHB, fenethylline||Misdemeanor||Up to 3 years in prison and/or $5,000 fine|
|Schedule II||Raw opium, codeine, morphine, methadone, Ritalin, amphetamine, PCP||Misdemeanor||Up to 3 years in jail and/or $5,000 fine|
|Schedule III||Appetite suppressants, barbiturates, sedatives, anesthetics, hydrocodone||Misdemeanor||Up to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 fine|
|Schedule IV||Alprazolam, clonazepam, pentazocine hydrochloride, butorphanol||Misdemeanor||Up to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 fine|
|Schedule V||Narcotics containing non-narcotic active medicinal ingredient||Misdemeanor||Up to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 fine|
Marijuana Laws in South Carolina
Medical and recreational marijuana are illegal in South Carolina. However, the state has passed a medical cannabidiol (CBD) law that allows cannabis extracts to treat severe epileptic conditions.
For a product to be approved as a medical cannabidiol (CBD), it must contain no more than 15 percent CBD and no more than nine-tenths of one percent or less THC.
Qualifying conditions for medical CBD in South Carolina are:
- Dravet Syndrome
- Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
- Refractory epilepsy
While possessing and selling marijuana comes with harsh sentencing, selling typically involves a more severe punishment.
|Marijuana Amount||Criminal Charge||Potential Sentencing|
|1 oz or less (first offense)||Misdemeanor||30 days in jail and $200 fine|
|1 oz or less (subsequent offense)||Misdemeanor||1 year in jail and $2,000 fine|
|Sale or Trafficking|
|Less than 10 lbs||Felony||5 years in jail and $5,000 fine|
|10 – 100 lbs (first offense)||Felony||1 – 10 years in jail and $10,000 fine|
|10 – 100 lbs (second offense)||Felony||5 – 20 years in jail and $25,000 fine|
|10 – 100 lbs (third offense)||Felony||25 years and $25,000 fine|
|100 – 2,000 lbs||Felony||25 years and $25,000 fine|
|2,000 – 10,000 lbs||Felony||25 years and $50,000 fine|
|More than 10,000 lbs||Felony||25 years and $200,000 fine|
|To a minor, or within ½ mile of a school, playground or public park||Felony||10 years and $10,000 fine|
Addiction Treatment Laws in South Carolina
South Carolina has enacted a wide range of harm reduction laws over the past several decades. Harm reduction laws, including methadone clinics, prescription drug monitoring programs and other substance abuse services help individuals who use drugs. Each program offers information about addiction and treatment and encourages a healthy lifestyle.
South Carolina Methadone Clinics
With an increase in the number of pain reliever addictions in South Carolina, more residents are turning to methadone clinics for help. Methadone is used to lessen withdrawal symptoms and pain for those with a heroin or opioid addiction.
Having access to methadone helps reduce the cravings and urges caused by an opioid addiction. In order to keep obtaining methadone, a person must show they are abusing opioids. This can be determined by a urine sample and other medical examinations.
It’s important to note that methadone is just one part of a comprehensive treatment plan. You will have the greatest chance of success when methadone is used in combination with other recovery services.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)
The South Carolina Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) launched in 2008. Managed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Bureau of Drug Control, the program tracks information on schedule II-IV controlled substances. Medical professionals and pharmacists can access the data before writing a prescription or dispensing medications. States with operational PDMPs are able to share information with other states in an effort to reduce the prescription drug abuse epidemic.
Additional benefits of the South Carolina PDMP include:
- Identifying potential drug abuse
- Reducing insurance fraud
- Providing better overall care to patients
- Detecting potential drug shoppers
Department of Corrections Division of Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services
The South Carolina Department of Corrections has a specific division to help drug offenders overcome substance abuse. Programs are divided into female offenders, adult male offenders, youth male offenders, pre-lapse and several other services.
Many programs generally cover topics such as:
- Substance abuse education
- Relapse prevention
- Social skills
- Individual and group therapy
- Community service referrals
- Job readiness services
- Health and wellness
- Sober housing
South Carolina’s Department of Corrections helps drug offenders recover from their addiction by focusing on important skills such as self-improvement, conflict management, relapse prevention and employability readiness.
Each program uses the Therapeutic Community Model treatment approach, which focuses on the whole person and lifestyle changes, rather than only looking at the drug. Over the course of approximately six to nine months, offenders will take part in a structured recovery plan. After completing the program successfully, individuals will have the tools necessary to maintain lasting sobriety.
Treatment Centers in South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) was developed as part of the Government Accountability and Reform Act of 1993. Today, the department provides prevention, intervention and treatment services for the general public.
Every year, more than 50,000 South Carolina residents receive help from prevention, intervention and treatment services provided by the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS).
The department’s prevention services emphasize the dangers of drugs to community members, including middle and high school groups. Services that help prevent drug use include:
- Community Action for a Safer Tomorrow (CAST)
- Community-Based Prevention Services
- Infectious Disease Prevention Services
- South Carolina Prevention Workforce Development Plan
- South Carolina Teen Institute
Intervention services provided by DAODAS help individuals who are most susceptible to substance abuse and addiction. People may be referred through a school, criminal justice system, workplace or other systems. Programs are selected based on a person’s situation and can range from:
- Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP)
- Community-Based Outreach (CBO) Program
- Offender-Based Intervention (OBI)
- Youth and Adolescent Services (YAS)
DAODAS provides treatment services for individuals currently addicted to an illicit substance. Public services are generally less expensive, but may have waiting lists for certain treatment programs. Private services, on the other hand, are more customizable and usually accept different forms of insurance. Rehab and recovery services may involve:
- Day Treatment
- Detoxification Services
- Halfway Houses
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment
- Inpatient Treatment
- Residential Treatment
- Specialized Services for Women and Children
Finding the right treatment center takes time and research. Explore all of your options, including facilities both in state and out of state, to ensure the greatest chance for success. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to lifelong sobriety, contact us today.