One pill can kill
The recent observation of International Overdose Awareness Day (Aug. 31) reminds us of the need to support families of those who have died by drug overdose.
Overdose deaths were already rising prior to the pandemic, but during the pandemic have reached the highest number ever in South Carolina and our nation.
The increasing rates continue to be fueled by the presence of fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is usually unknowingly added to other drugs such as heroin or cocaine.
Most alarming now is the presence of fentanyl and related drugs into pressed pills. These counterfeit pills are designed to look exactly like medicines that are widely prescribed to youth and young adults for conditions such as attention deficit disorder and anxiety disorders. As a result, recent deaths include youth who die after taking one pill unknowingly laced with fentanyl. I urge all readers to look at the DEA’s “One Pill Can Kill” initiative and talk to your loved ones about not taking anything that does not come from their own prescription bottle.
The tragic consequences are too high.
Dr. Pam Imm, Lexington
Fight sickle cell
September is Sickle Cell Month, a time that I am rallying support to help those with a disease that has impacted my entire life.
Sickle cell disease is the most common genetic blood disorder in the U.S., impacting primarily Black and African American individuals. There is no cure, but frequent blood transfusions help prevent or reduce the painful symptoms.
I was diagnosed with sickle cell disease at a very young age. Sickle cell disease is a large reason that I was called into ministry at a young age. I am asking you to help give hope to others who are diagnosed with sickle cell disease.
In recent years, the Red Cross did not have enough blood donations from donors who are Black to provide blood to meet the needs of sickle cell patients. COVID-19 further exacerbated the challenges in collecting enough diverse blood donations. It has caused the number of Black individuals who give blood to drop by about half.
Please consider giving blood this September. Make an appointment at www.redcrossblood.org.
Timothy Griffin, Columbia