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How to keep your medicine out of the wrong hands as opioid epidemic continues

SUMTER, S.C. — Sumter Behavioral Health Services is providing community members with a way to dispose of their medication safely. This free resource is called Deterra, which is a pouch that you add water and pills to before throwing it away.

“I’m able to give advice or help because I’ve been there,” Sean O’Connor, a peer support specialist at Sumter Behavioral, told News19.

O’Connor has been sober for two years now. Before that, he spent more than two decades fighting addiction. During that time, one way he would access drugs was through getting medicine from loved ones without them realizing.

“I would purposefully go into peoples’ homes,” he shared. “Like people that I knew, family members or whoever, and I would ask to use their bathroom and I would literally go into their medicine cabinet and take whatever. Cough syrup. Pills…I got a lot of medicine that way.”