Just like other states in the United States, Georgia is also affected by the rising cases of drug abusers that may even lead to death. The region is now facing severe drug problems, and it takes many distinct forms.

Here’s an overview of the current drug problem in Georgia:

Opioid Drug Addiction

Georgia isn’t safe from addiction to opioids spreading in the whole United States of America. The opioid addiction is the worst drug crisis the U.S. has ever encountered. There was a rise in the number of deaths from opioid drug overdose. From the year 2014 to 2015, there was an 8% rise in the number of overdose death cases. Although Georgia’s overdose rate falls beneath the national average, it was still a significant rise for the state. The rate has tripled since the year 2000.

On average, there are 1,300 overdose cases in the state, and 80% of those were linked to opioid.

A new prescription drug has surfaced the streets of Georgia, Percocet. The real version of this prescription drug is a mix of acetaminophen and oxycodone. It’s important to remember that oxycodone is an opioid drug. Percocet is supposed to be a painkiller, yet with unsupervised use, it can be addictive and lead to overdose.

The counterfeit Percocet that spreads in Georgia contains much stronger substance than the real drug. Its contents are still unknown and are currently studied by experts. They come in yellow, oval pills. When this drug is taken, the person will experience a severe decrease in consciousness and respiratory failure. To counteract the effects of this prescription drug, the user will have to take big doses of Naloxone.

Another drug that has entered Georgia is fentanyl. This opioid drug acts fifty times stronger than heroin per microgram. Drug dealers have been cutting their distribution on regular opioid-derived medicines with fentanyl since it’s simpler to produce and has the same effect as heroin. The southwest part of Georgia dealt with counterfeited opioids with a fatal dose of fentanyl.

The opioid epidemic in the state has cost them lots of money just to combat the problem that led to several numbers of deaths. Recently, the Trump administration granted Georgia a budget of $11.7 million to solve the opioid epidemic and heroin problem.

Alcohol Abuse

Reviewing human history, alcohol abuse has been there for a long time. It’s also the most abused substance by both men and women in all parts of the world, maybe because it’s too accessible. Fifteen percent of Georgia’s whole population binge drinking alcohol on a weekly basis, making it the twelfth highest average in the entire U.S.

Half of the cases of people who seek treatment for addiction in Georgia are addicted to alcohol. In 2016, there’s a record of 19,000 arrests in the whole state for people who drive under the influence of alcohol. On average, there are over three hundred deaths each year related to impaired driving.

Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana is a favorite substance that can lead to addiction. More than 25 million of Americans use pot for a medical or recreational purpose. This abused substance has caused heated discussions, but it’s still considered as a Schedule 1 Drug.

In 2016, 663,000 individuals in Georgia (13 years and older) have used marijuana. 106,000 users are teenagers, 226,000 users are young adults, and the remaining 331,000 users are adults aging from 26 and older.

In the discussion of whether marijuana should be legalized or not, there’s quite a few number of people in Georgia believe that it should be legalized.

Cocaine Abuse

In Georgia, cocaine is the drug associated with violent crimes most of the time. It’s easily accessed in the state. This is because Georgia’s prime location is near the cocaine corridor of Mexican cartels. They’re the primary sellers and distributors of cocaine, whether powdered or cracked cocaine.

How do health agencies try to solve this drug problem?

The Trump administration granted the budget of $11.7 million to the state of Georgia. They intend to spend it for an efficient way of eradicating the problem. They’ll plan and implement statewide programs that create awareness, stock more naloxone (a drug that counteracts the effects of drugs and prevents overdose) and support treatment facilities.

The Congress has also passed some critical legislative pieces to eradicate the drug problem. One of them is CARA. This program is a six-pillar system that intends to fight against the opioid and heroin abuse. It has aimed to expand and impart cash into infrastructures such as establishing more treatment centers and research platforms. The legislators have high hopes that their program will help diminish the number of overdoses in the state.

Even if some think that allotting a bigger budget for what seemed to be an unsolvable problem, it’s still positive that this is a big step towards sobriety.

Let’s help spread awareness and help people we know that’s addicted to any drug. Help can be one step away if we step up as well.