- Associated Press - Friday, September 9, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The Drug Enforcement Administration is launching an effort in the Lowcountry to combat painkiller and heroin abuse and deaths.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports (https://bit.ly/2cmcpOf ) the program called Wake Up will enlist the help of everyone from law enforcement and religious leaders to others in the community to warn young people about the dangers of painkiller abuse

The number of heroin-related deaths in Charleston County is 15 percent higher than the national per-capita average.

Charleston DEA agent Jason Sandoval says the problem is not one that law enforcement will solve by making arrests.

He says 80 percent of new heroin users start by abusing prescription drugs. He says of the 130 drug deaths each day nationwide more than half can be attributed to heroin or other opioids.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, https://www.postandcourier.com

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