News13 Special Report: Police, moms, and treatment facilities team up to end Heroin epidemic

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) –  We’ve told you the staggering statistics of  heroin overdoses in Horry County, with one person dying every day from the drug.

In this News13 special report, we go undercover to investigate how mothers, treatment facilities, and police are working together to fight the epidemic.

Jackie Orcutt lost her son Sean Michael to heroin back in June. Since then, she’s made it her mission to get the drug off the street.

“We’re angry. I mean we’re angry that they’re making it, they’re lacing it with powerful things,” said Orcutt.

Since the death of her son, Orcutt has teamed up with the Charleston drug enforcement unit to educate youth to say no to drugs with the hopes of sparing another mother the pain she has to go through.

In Horry County, undercover officers say moms like Orcutt have become some of their biggest informants.

“They get to a point where they reach a threshold and they’re not afraid for their children to become involved with law enforcement or the government when it comes to illegal substances,” said the undercover.

Whether it’s selling out their child’s drug dealer, giving up their kid to police, or working to teach others about the dangers of addiction, police say the moms are ready for heroin deaths to stop.

“We have a lot of parents that have crossed that line saying you know I can sleep tonight for that very reason because I know where they’re at,” said the undercover.

Joel Pomales with SOBA College Recovery Center says they too see the partnership with mothers first-hand.

“They’re lost, they’re confused, they’re desperate, they’re losing their children,” said Pomales.

Pomales says if we plan to end the epidemic, the partnership has to start in the streets.

That’s why Myrtle Beach Police, the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit, Horry County’s Sheriff’s Office, Horry County Police, SLED, and local treatment facilities teamed up for an operation last week.

There, they worked to get the users off the street and give them the option to go straight to treatment.

“You can’t just target the dealers in this situation; we’re going to have to address the issue of the addiction itself,” said the undercover.

Targeting addiction and stopping it at its source, that’s where police, mothers, and treatment providers agree.

“We need to unite as a force to just try to educate youth to say no. To me, that’s the only way to make it where there’s good results in the end,” said Orcutt.

Because an end to heroin deals and addictions would mean lives like Sean Michael’s wouldn’t have ended so soon.

“Everybody needs to come together, we need to work together on this and it has to be a community effort, it has to be a collaborative effort because we are capable of doing more,” said Pomales.

Police say the undercover operation last week where law enforcement and treatment facilities team up was the first of many in Horry County.

Heroin isn’t just in drug houses and back streets anymore.

Police say this drug is in your community so they need your help clearing out the dealers and the users.

If you see something, say something. The 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit tip line is number (843) 488-4351.