Opiate Addiction in Georgia: A Few Facts

September 6, 2018
Drug overdose is the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. Addictions to opioids, both prescription and illicit, are responsible for the majority of overdose deaths today. Opioids are a class of drugs that trigger the release of endorphins — your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters — that muffle feelings of pain and enhance feelings of pleasure and well-being.

Opioids come in natural, synthetic, and semi-synthetic forms. Morphine is a natural opioid derived from the opium poppy. Hydrocodone and oxycodone are semi-synthetic, and fentanyl is synthetic. Fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, is a super-narcotic that can easily be made in the lab. Accordingly, fentanyl is increasingly being combined with heroin and other drugs. Even in very small amounts, Fentanyl can be deadly.

Highly addictive prescriptions, such as Percoset and OxyContin, are also increasingly acting as gateways to street drugs such as heroin, which is likely cheaper and may be easier to acquire. Factors such as these are contributing to overdose death rates that are increasing at such an alarming pace that the President has officially declared a national public health emergency.

Georgia is amongst the top 11 states with the most opioid overdose deaths. 55 of Georgia’s counties have higher rates of overdose deaths than the US national average. Georgia’s Attorney General office ties the vast majority of overdose deaths to controlled substance prescriptions. For example, in the year 2013, 461 deaths were caused by prescriptions, compared to 106 deaths from illicit drugs. The following year, 459 deaths were caused by prescriptions while 180 were from illicit drugs. Not surprisingly, “the total number of opioid doses prescribed in Georgia patients surpassed 541 million. To put that in perspective, that is approximately 54 doses for every man, woman and child in Georgia.”

Yet Georgia is taking action. According to Georgia Health News, the state is now “receiving the highest mark from the National Safety Council for taking comprehensive actions to eliminate opioid overdoses and help protect residents.” Georgia is implementing a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program which will help reduce duplicate and overprescription of controlled substances. Through an electronic database, a patient’s controlled substance prescription history will be made available to prescribers and pharmacists alike to reduce the risk of abuse.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Georgia

There are high levels of addiction crisis all over the world, and it is not any different in Georgia too. Traditionally these areas haven’t been known for their drug issues, but recently much national attention is also given here. Even as it is situated in Deep South, Georgia has been known for its progressive thinking. In this quiet thinking addiction crisis was just rising with no enemy to stand against. It was growing slowly for years until it just hit the epidemic point. As the city of Atlanta grew and developed, this meant more space for business and industry which automatically meant more spreading of drugs and alcohol.

Even better fact is it is not about just one or two problematic substances, it provides a various offer. Drug access became so easy that people are not having a problem only with one but a complex of health issues. No profession is safe against these substances and statistics even show the surprising percentage of the white-collar residents having struggle with addiction. Even worse is their attitude of not reaching for help and working so hard on coping with it for themselves, so nobody doesn’t find out something about their problem.

Though there are numerous treatment facilities around the state of Georgia, a crisis is just going ahead. These facilities are located in areas with high levels of drug addictions which is, on the one hand, great and makes sense but on the other hand, provides many temptations and disturbing process of treatments.

Drug accessibility in Georgia has become so terrifying with the fact there has even been an open-air heroin market, existing as not a very big secret. It “shut down” but the dealers found their other ways to continue successfully their “business.” Also one of the reasons Georgia is having major addiction problems is that it makes a major part of the drug-smuggling corridor. This corridor goes all the way through East Coast and gives constant access to various substances to drug addicts.

Georgia is trying its best with developing restrictions and laws about medical prescriptions, made an effort to invest in more public service announcements and other media campaigns to spread any possible information to help addicts and warn them about spreading and severe damages this disease is making. Georgia became very aware it is not only about treating the addiction but most important treating the addict as a complex being.


Best Rehab Centers In Georgia

As one of the most popular state and one of the top states for business Georgia is facing huge trouble with addiction crisis. But it is not all so black, Georgia also made development with addiction facilities all around the country to fight this crisis. Here individuals are given a chance to bring back their normal life and their loved ones.

Riverbend Health Center

Will work their best to reach lifelong recovery for every patient. From a holistic approach, over behavioral services and addiction rehabilitation, it successfully provides efficient care for everybody.  It has two locations, one facility is in Augusta, and the other one is in Atlanta. The staff consists of licensed clinicians and board-certified physicians. The medically rooted approach in practices combined with holistic improving individual’s soul reaches highest results in recovery. Family treatment, individual counseling, relapse prevention, coaching and much more programs may be found in this facility.


Is located in Atlanta and it is an effective service for men.  With progressive step-down plan including brotherhood, personal responsibility and group challenge it encourages their patients leading to long-term recovery. They are known for their 12 step meeting recovery program which creates a most successful foundation for whole being recovery. Physical condition is very important to them also, which can be seen in their offer of many group activities like hiking, running, and fitness. They also believe and support transformative power to recovery for the whole family.

Talbott Recovery

This facility believes that every person needs special and unique approach on their way to recovery. Their programs are diverse to provide help in all aspects. Services in this facility include partial hospitalization, group therapy, outpatient programs, detoxification and stabilization and many other therapeutic techniques.

Bridges of Hope

All five locations offer high-quality settings so every patient may focus on their treatment having no extra worries in any aspect. They believe in connection with nature and keeping patients hand busy in areas that may be of interest to them in their offer. Some facilities use a greenhouse to grow plants; some have a working farm while some have even ponds where the patient may have some fishing time. Recovery here is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. The core of programs is made of 12 step recovery and a “Big Book.” There is no offer of professional counseling, medical service, and detoxification but it still offers a successful approach to treatment.


10 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Addiction

Addiction behavior

The behavior of an addict drastically changes, and so does personality. These changes are most often the result and not the cause of the addiction. This usually returns to normal with professional help and proper treatment.

Reach help before reaching the bottom

Usually, people need to experience some significant discomfort to seek any form of help. The process of recovery can be facilitated in various ways. It is important that loved ones stop covering and making up excuses for the addict. The proper way is that the loved ones help him early as possible to understand all the consequences of the addiction as the first step to get some recovery treatment.

Addiction recovery is possible

It is way much successful to reach recovery by turning to professional help. Their approach comes from various aspects, starting from emotional, physical and social ones. Doing this alone is very hard and let’s say almost impossible but with proper patience and support resumption is definite.

Hard identifying the signs

It is very hard to determine these from both sides, from the side of an addict and side of his loved ones. Addicts really know how to hide their behavior, especially in the beginning and it is very hard for them to accept that fact, and people around him will always first think about something else and excuses than the possibility that addiction is present.

Everybody can help

Talking, talking and talking. There is no better way in fighting this problem. The worse thing is to think it will pass without any action involved. Let the addicts see you are concerned and encourage them with providing proper information. Without any arguments, judging and blaming there is always the successful end of story.

Protecting yourself and surrounding

Proper role modeling to children, strong and open relationships in the family, sports with other healthy activities, good and responsible behavior at school and realistic planning of the future are some of the basic factors that will keep away anybody from addiction and addiction away from them.

Nobody is alone

Millions of people around the world have an addiction problem and outnumbering support groups are trying to help them to recover.

No quick solution, only patience

It is a complex situation with various issues, so it needs same approach and treatment. Medication is not the only part that helps with treatment; the special approach is needed as it involves social, emotional and physical issues.

It is not just about willpower

As influenced by many factors like childhood history, genetics, stress levels or physical conditions it is not simply about will power to fight various issues coming aside addiction.

Can’t be treated partly

As said, addiction is made of the complex nature, and if we try to solve one issue such as anxiety or depression, it will not make the other one disappear.