Drug Use in Georgia And Overdose Rates Are on the Rise, There is No Denying this Epidemic

Overdose is now the leading cause of death in Americans under the age of 50. If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ll know that America is currently facing the worst drug and overdose epidemic that the world has ever seen. The opioid epidemic, by the numbers, is terrifying, unbelievable, and shocking. In 2018, for example:

  • There are over 130 opioid-related drug overdoses every day in America.
  • Over 10 million people reported that they misused prescription opioids in one form or another in 2018.
  • 47,600 people died from opioid-related overdoses in 2018 (15,349 attributed to heroin).
  • 2 million people reported that they had an opioid use disorder.
  • Over 800,000 people reported that they used heroin.
  • 81,000 people reported that they used heroin for the first time.

Wrapping your head around the opioid epidemic is nearly impossible, as the extent of the damage is hard to measure. The billions spent in healthcare, the thousands of families affected, and the amount of needless death is hard to grasp. The HHS declared a public health emergency back in 2017 – and it is no different in 2020. Better access to drug rehabilitation and heroin addiction treatment is just one of the suggested steps in combating the scourge of opioid dependence. If you or a loved one is in the midst of opioid addiction, there has never been a better time to seek treatment for heroin addiction in Georgia. Addiction touches every city in the state, including Atlanta, Athens, Marietta, and Norcross.

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths in Georgia 

Georgia has not fared better than any other states, as there were over 1,014 opioid-related deaths in 2017. The numbers continue to increase at an exponential rate. From 2012 to 2017, for example:

  • Over a 5 year period, the deaths attributed to heroin increased from 40 to 263.
  • Over the same 5 year period, deaths involving synthetic opioids (mainly fentanyl, one of the strongest opioid medications known to humankind) went from 61 to 419.
  • The largest number of opioid-related overdose deaths were attributed to prescription opioids, totaling at 568.

While the prescribing practices of strong opioid medications have become stringent when compared to the 1990s, it is safe to say that the chaos that irresponsible prescribing practices has caused is more than evident. The numbers are still startling when you look at the raw data.

There were 71 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 people in Georgia – compared to the national average of 59 per 100. The sad news is that 71 per 100 is the lowest number that Georgia has seen since 2006. Nearly 6 deaths per 100,000 are attributed to opioids. It’s an astonishing number that stands in utter defiance against common sense. Atlanta heroin addiction treatment is available for those suffering from heroin addiction in Atlanta, Georgia and any surrounding cities.

Cocaine Abuse Statistics in Georgia 

Behind marijuana, cocaine is the second most heavily abused substance in the United States. The U.S. is also the largest global consumer of the illicit substance. Here are some national stats related to cocaine:

  • Over 300,000 emergency department visits are attributed to overdoses or complications involving cocaine.
  • Over 15,000 deaths are attributed on a national scale as a result of a cocaine overdose or complications involving cocaine (such as heart attack or stroke).
  • There are over 12,000 arrests per year involving cocaine.

According to county data of drug use in Georgia, there were over 100 cocaine-related overdose deaths attributed to complications involving cocaine. Georgia is similar in comparison to the nationwide average – however, crack is a major problem in many of the cities in Georgia, especially Athens and Marietta. According to Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), and the Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 67% of visits to publicly funded facilities were related to crack addiction. While other drugs such as marijuana and benzodiazepines help fuel the national drug epidemic, cocaine and opioids are two of the deadliest illicit substances on the streets of Georgia today.

Alcohol Abuse Statistics in Georgia

Despite its legality, alcohol is responsible for nearly twice the number of deaths in the United States that opioids are. 88,000 deaths are attributed to alcohol dependence, overdose, and accidents involving alcohol (such as work-related or vehicle-related accidents). This adds up to an astonishing 2.5 million years of potential life lost.

According to the CDC, “Excessive drinking results in 2,555 deaths and 79,183 years of potential life lost each year in Georgia”. The problem with public health and safety doesn’t just begin and end with opioids; it is a systemic problem that requires programmatic change in all branches of the government. To help combat addiction, we all need to make sure that our figurative oxygen masks are on first, before we help another put on their own.

These numbers are a grave reminder that human life is fragile when up against the disease of addiction. Alcoholics face a number of health risks as they get older and the likelihood of all-cause mortality begins to skyrocket as addiction takes hold of the person. The rising rates of alcoholism are not just a problem for the state of Georgia; these issues affect everyone that lives in the United States.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction in Georgia 

All drugs – legal and illegal – have the potential for abuse. Abuse can lead to addiction, which is characterized by an inability to stop the use of a substance despite large consequences. Out of all the drugs, alcohol and opioids are the deadliest drugs in Georgia and the United States. In fact, Georgia has seen over a 1000% increase in opioid-related overdose deaths in the past few years. The reason for this is that heroin is much cheaper on the black market than pills; unfortunately, heroin is often tainted with synthetic opioids such as fentanyl as well. Since fentanyl is so powerful, it is incredibly easy to overdose on any opioid that is bought on the black market.

Treatments like PHP (partial hospitalization) and IOP treatment in Georgia has helped thousands of people combat the disease of addiction and drug use in Georgia. If you or a loved one is in need of help, always remember that the first step is the hardest.