Prevention Works

South Carolina Overdose Prevention Project

Funded by a $3.2 million five-year grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the South Carolina Overdose Prevention Project exists to reduce the state’s overall number of deaths related to opioid misuse.

In fiscal year 2015, state-funded treatment agencies saw 5,370 individuals seeking treatment for a problem with opiates, a more than 177% increase in opiate users seeking help from 2003 to 2015. From 2012 through 2015, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) had administered naloxone − a drug that blocks or reverses the effects of opiates − 12,642 times, with a 20% increase in administrations of the drug from 2012 to 2015.

The South Carolina Overdose Prevention Project trains first responders, as well as opioid use disorder patients and their caregivers, to recognize an opioid overdose and to administer naloxone to save a life. The development of a statewide distribution system makes naloxone available and easily accessible to trained first responders and to at-risk citizens, regardless of their ability to pay for the medication.

For statistics on the impact of opioids, click here.

For information on the availability of naloxone through pharmacies across South Carolina, visit