Addiction and Substance Abuse in Georgia

Like many other states in the US, Georgia is facing an addiction crisis. Over the past five years, substance abuse, addiction, and overdoses have been on the rise across the United States. Georgia is no different. For those experiencing addiction in Georgia, treatment is available, even in nearby states. Georgia’s two most significant public health concerns when it comes to substance abuse are Opioids and Methamphetamine use. 

Opioid Crisis in Georgia

In the US, approximately 128 people die of an overdose each day. This figure includes opioids of both prescription and illicit sources. In 2018, America had 61,367 opioid overdoses. Georgia has been hit by the opioid crisis hard, with the state ranking 11th in prescription opioid deaths by state. In 2017, nearly two thirds of all drug-related deaths in Georgia were due to opioids. 

Part of this is Georgia’s high rate of prescription opioid use. These prescription painkillers are so addictive that they eventually drive illicit opioid use. When a user’s prescription runs out or they are no longer eligible for repeat prescriptions, they look elsewhere to numb their pain or fuel their addiction. Because street prices of prescription opioids are very high, most users turn to heroin as a cheaper option. 

Heroin use is of biggest concern in larger cities such as Atlanta and Savannah, however, it is abused in more rural areas as well. Fulton, Gwinnett and DeKalb counties in the Atlanta Metropolitan area have seen a 3953% increase in heroin abuse in the past few years. With heroin use comes public health concerns such as higher infection rates of HIV and Hepatitis due to Intravenous Drug Use. 

Methamphetamine Use in Georgia

Like all US states, meth use has been on the rise in Georgia. Across the country, meth-related deaths have increased 250% between 2005 and 2015. And Georgia is no different. 

In 2003, Crack Cocaine was considered Georgia’s biggest drug threat. However, methamphetamine use has far outpaced crack in the past decade. Deneen Kilcrease of The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), states that meth labs and meth seizures are occurring in every single Georgia county. “We now only see half the amount of cocaine that we do methamphetamine,” she says.

Meth seizures are rising every year, as are meth-related deaths which tripled from 65 deaths in 2010 to over 200 in 2017. The Atlanta metro area is seeing the steepest occurrences of meth-related deaths. 

Getting Help 

Harmony Oaks Recovery Center is less than a two hour drive from Atlanta in neighboring Chattanooga, Tennessee. If you are in Georgia and seeking an addiction treatment center, traveling the short distance to Harmony Oaks could be a great option. Leaving your normal environment for treatment can be incredibly beneficial to long-term success. Benefits of getting out of town for treatment include: 

  • Deepens commitment to recovery. Packing up and traveling to rehab, rather than just traveling ten minutes from home, pushes us out of our comfort zone. It takes courage to face addiction. Leaving town and committing to treatment is the first act of courage in many.
  • Can’t easily leave. Trying to leave early is much harder when home isn’t a quick Uber ride away. Patients often feel the urge to leave as soon as their drink or drug cravings strike. But out of town recovery treatment takes away the ability to act on impulse. Not only are patients far from home but they are also far from their dealer, meaning that in the case of drug addiction, they can’t 
  • Focus on yourself and your healing. A lot of people will say there’s something about taking a vacation, rather than a stay-cation, that makes you leave your everyday life behind and just relax. While treatment is certainly not a vacation, traveling for treatment can have a similar effect. In leaving your home, friends, family, and town behind, you are able to focus solely on yourself and your recovery. 

If you’re in Georgia seeking addiction treatment, call us today! We can discuss options with you and see if traveling for treatment feels right.

Sources

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-scope-methamphetamine-misuse-in-united-states

https://dph.georgia.gov/stopopioidaddiction

https://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/profiles/geo.pdf?ua=1

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