COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — Governor Henry McMaster has declared a public health emergency for South Carolina for what he calls an opioid epidemic.
The declaration allows the governor to bring in the state’s emergency management infrastructure, health care and law enforcement resources to deal with opioid deaths, addiction and abuse.
The “Opioid Emergency Response Team” will be led by State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel and Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services Director Sara Goldsby.
The governor has also directed the Adjutant General Robert Livingston to use the state’s emergency management infrastructure.
An executive order is now in place directing the state Department of Health and Human Services to limit initial opioid prescriptions for acute and post-operative pain to a maximum of five days for state Medicaid recipients.
Additionally, the governor has asked the General Assembly to pass legislation making the five-day limitation state law for all opioid prescriptions.
The Opioid Emergency Response Team will hold bi-monthly meetings to assess outcomes, evaluate new information and develop further strategic plans.
The first meeting will be held on December 19 at 2:30 p.m.