Georgia Addiction Treatment and Info

The rates of substance abuse and addiction in Georgia are as high as they are in the rest of the United States. This is in spite of the fact that there are high quality recovery programs available in this state.

Addiction in Georgia

Research studies have shown that Georgia struggles with high rates of substance abuse. This is clearly seen in the fact that it is among the leading states across the country in terms of drug overdose deaths involving prescription medications.

Across the United States, addiction continues affecting many people. It is for this reason that NIDA - the National Institute on Drug Abuse - reported that the country spends more than $249 billion every year and an additional $193 billion on illicit drugs. prescription opioid medications, on the other hand, cost the country more than $78 billion every year.

In Georgia as in the rest of the country, substance abuse and addiction continue causing a wide variety of problems. These include but are not limited to homelessness, unemployment, poor health and wellness, and broken professional and personal relationships.

Commonly Abused Substances in Georgia

There are many drugs available in Georgia. However, there are some that people abuse at high rates than others. This is clearly seen in the number of admissions into drug rehabs across the state. Consider the following information:

1. Alcohol

The latest figures from the NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - show that more than 21 percent of the residents of Georgia engaged in the binge drinking at least once in the month prior to the survey.

In 2010, more than 9400 people were admitted in an addiction treatment facility for an alcohol use disorder. Close to 6400 more received similar treatments for abusing alcohol with another secondary substance.

2. Marijuana

Studies show that marijuana is among the most commonly abused of all intoxicating substances in this state. This could be because it is widely available at affordable prices across Georgia. In 2010, close to 7000 people were in a drug rehab program for abusing this substance.

3. Cocaine

The same year, cocaine was responsible for 8545 admissions in a drug rehab center in Georgia. These people had been smoking the drug. Another 2733 people received similar treatment services for abusing cocaine through alternative routes of administration.

In 2007 also, close to 10 percent of teens in the 12th grade in this state reported that they had experimented with this intoxicating substance at least one time in their lifetimes. This is why it is not surprising that cocaine was among the drugs that were most commonly cited by people checking into an addiction treatment center in the state.

4. Opioids

According to SARA - the Substance Abuse Research Alliance - the state reported a total of 549 overdose cases involving opioids in 2015. The same report showed that the rates of opioid overdose in 29 of the 159 counties in this state were higher than the total rates at the national level.

The rates of opioid use have also been going up - including but not limited to the use of heroin. From this report, heroin use is one of the leading drug related epidemics that the state is struggling with. This is not surprising considering that the total number of fatalities linked to an opioid overdose has increased more than 10 times over a period of 15 years.

Further, the state of Georgia is considered to be one of the major transit sites and distribution points for heroin. Even so, heroin continues to be widely available across the state - particularly around the metro area close to Atlanta. By 2010, a total of 661 people were enrolled in an addiction treatment center for abusing heroin and developing an opioid use disorder as a result.

In terms of prescriptions, oxycodone and hydrocodone, among many other opioid drugs are widely diverted in Georgia. Further, Vicodin and Xanax are largely available all across the state. New trends have also shown that methadone as quickly replacing oxycodone as the preferred opioid of abuse.

This is because more doctors are increasingly relying on methadone instead of oxycodone to treat pain and other related conditions. Further, methadone is much cheaper than other opioids in the state.

5. Amphetamines

In 2010, a total of 5685 people were admitted in an addiction treatment and recovery program in Georgia for abusing amphetamines. This was a high number especially in comparison with preceding years.

Drug Related Injuries and Fatalities in Georgia

Most of drug trafficking organizations use Georgia as their final destination before they distribute their products all along the American East Coast. This is because this state is conveniently situated in between Miami and New York.

The state has been trying to counter this problem in a variety of ways. For instance, it had a total of 67 drug courts - 43 of which had been operational for more than 2 years. Georgia was also planning to start 9 more courts.

Between 2007 and 2009, the state saw an increase of 91 percent in the number of meth labs that were seized by law enforcement officials working at the DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2007 also, the DEA made a total of 513 drug arrests in this state.

By 2008, more than 26 percent of all the federally sentenced cases in Georgia were due to a drug offense. Of this number, 44 percent were linked to cocaine. Figures linked to meth seizures in state include:

  • 175 labs were seized in 2004
  • 131 labs were seized in 2005
  • 156 labs were seized in 2006
  • 55 meth labs were seized in 2007
  • 78 labs were seized in 2008

The total number of meth labs that were seized in this state rose by a total of 91 percent from 2007 through to 2009. This number was similar to what was reported at the national level.

In 2008 also, the state made a total of 3011 juvenile arrests involving marijuana use and possession. The same year, 21 percent of all people who were incarcerated in Georgia reported that they were struggling with drug abuse while another 14 percent abused both alcohol and drugs.

Drug abuse was responsible for 973 deaths in Georgia in 2008 too. This was in comparison to the 1745 deaths that were linked to motor car accidents and the 1244 fatalities arising from incidents involving firearms.

Addiction Prevention in Georgia

There are some steps that the state of Georgia has been taking to reduce and prevent the problems of substance abuse and addiction. These programs and efforts include but are not limited to:

a) Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

In 2016, the government passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. The goal of this act is to deal with the epidemic involving opioids across the United States. It is mostly focused on overdose reversal, reforms to the criminal justice system, law enforcement, recovery, treatment, and prevention.

The goal of this federal act is to save the lives of people who abuse opioids - or have a high risk of starting to use this class of drugs. the act has been attempting to meet its goal by providing education to addicts, potential addicts, as well as parents, caregivers, communities, and addiction treatment professionals.

The act has also been in collaboration with the federal and various state criminal justice systems to help identify incarcerated people who are struggling with opioid use disorders, as well as get them the treatment they need to overcome their addiction.

CARA - the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act - has also focused on improving all the options that people have to dispose of all unwanted and unused prescription medications. Further, it has improved the monitoring of these prescriptions as well as launched various addiction intervention programs.

b) Increased Access to Treatment

The state of Georgia has increased access to Narcan or naloxone especially among people who are at high risk of suffering a drug overdose involving opioids, as well as their loved ones and anyone else who is close to them.

Naloxone is now widely available across the state. It is effective at reversing the adverse effects of drug overdose situations involving opioids. By so doing, it can help people buy some time before emergency first responders arrive at the scene.

Most of the rural counties in this state does not have ready access to professional addiction recovery services. To this end, Georgia has been attempting to remedy this situation. Today, it has been promoting various services, such as medication management, support services, behavioral therapy, and withdrawal management.

It has also improved the support that is available for the loved ones of people struggling with substance use disorders and addiction. In this way, even family members and partners can now access the therapeutic support they need to cope with the stress that comes with having an addicted loved one.

Addiction Treatment in Georgia

A total of 44890 residents of Georgia were admitted in an addiction treatment and rehabilitation program in 2005. Of this number, 40 percent were female while the remaining 60 percent were male.

From 2006 to 2007, more than 212,000 residents required addiction treatment but were not able to get it. The previous year, the state had a total of 277 facilities offering this type of treatment.

Further, the state has several addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs in place. These programs can help you overcome your growing substance use disorder as well as manage any other co-occurring medical or mental health disorder that you may also be struggling with.

i) Medical Detox

When you first check into a recovery center, you will be taken through an assessment and evaluation to determine how severe your addiction is as well as uncover any other co-occurring disorders that might also be contributing to your substance abuse.

After that, the center will provide you with medical detox services. The goal of detoxification is to manage any withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that develop as your body gets rid of all the drugs - and resultant toxins - from its system.

This service is quite useful because there is a high risk you could relapse and suffer adverse effects like a drug overdose unless you go through withdrawal in a controlled treatment and recovery setting.

ii) Inpatient Drug Rehab

After you have successfully completed detox, the treatment center can recommend inpatient or residential drug rehab. This service is useful if you have a severe or long standing substance use disorder or if you have also been diagnosed with other medical and mental health disorders that co-occur with your addiction.

It will allow you to live at the treatment facility over the entire course of your recovery. This way, you will be able to focus more on your long term sobriety without the risk of encountering the triggers and stress factors that used to cause you to abuse drugs in the past.

iii) Outpatient Drug Rehab

You can also go for outpatient addiction treatment. In this type of program, you only need to check into the rehab facility for your scheduled treatments a few days each week for several hours every time.

After completing your treatment sessions, you can go back to your normal day to day schedule as well as go home or to a sober living facility in the evenings. This means that you will not be living at the recovery center.

Outpatient treatment is recommended if you have a mild drug use disorder, no co-occurring disorders, and/or have already been through an inpatient drug rehab program. It might also be ideal if you have obligations in your daily life that you cannot delegate.

Irrespective of the drug treatment method you choose, most of these addiction recovery programs will use similar or related therapy modalities. These include but are not limited to:

  • 12 step support group meetings
  • Addiction education
  • Aftercare planning
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Complementary therapies, including massage, yoga, Ayurvedic medicine, acupuncture, animal therapy, meditation, art therapy, and journaling
  • Couples counseling
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Dual diagnosis addiction treatment
  • Exercise programs
  • Family therapy
  • Group counseling
  • Individual therapy
  • Nutrition education
  • Vocational planning

Getting Help

If you are addicted in Georgia, it is recommended that you check into an addiction treatment and rehabilitation program so that you can get a thorough assessment and treatment plan to guide your journey to recovery.


For more information about treatment centers in Georgia, Click Here.

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