Overdose Death Victims’ Families Rally for Change in South Carolina!

In a fervent plea for change, families affected by drug-related fatalities are urging lawmakers to overhaul the investigation process for overdose deaths in South Carolina.

Missy Boyd, who tragically lost her daughter to a drug overdose five years ago, expressed frustration over what she perceives as inadequate scrutiny surrounding such cases. Recalling her daughter’s untimely demise, Boyd lamented the lack of a thorough investigation, highlighting discrepancies in the handling of evidence.

Boyd’s daughter, Meagan Mangum-Jimenez, was discovered deceased from an apparent drug overdose in West Columbia in November 2019. Despite her prolonged battle with opioid addiction, Boyd asserts that the investigation into her daughter’s death was prematurely closed by Lexington County authorities in February 2020.

Billy Warren, a victim advocate, echoed Boyd’s sentiments, criticizing the tendency to swiftly attribute deaths to drug overdoses without exploring additional contributing factors. He emphasized the need for comprehensive investigations, particularly in cases where multiple elements may be at play.

Recent data reveals a staggering 258 opioid-related deaths in the Midlands region in 2021, with Richland and Lexington Counties bearing the brunt of the crisis. Dawn Pierce, chair of Moms for Liberty in Lexington County, underscored the urgency of holding drug suppliers accountable for their role in these tragedies.

Legislators are currently deliberating on proposals to introduce harsher penalties, including charges for drug-induced homicides. Warren emphasized the importance of identifying the root causes of these deaths and prosecuting those responsible.

As discussions continue within the state house, the fate of these proposed measures hangs in the balance, with a decision expected before the conclusion of the legislative session in May.

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