Opioid Abuse

The State of Georgia is working to end the scourge of opioid abuse.

A National Emergency:

Based on a report submitted to President Donald J. Trump by the White House Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, the President has officially declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. The report also illustrated the most updated, most harrowing statistics:

  • Every day, 142 Americans die from a drug overdose.
  • Between 1999 and 2015, more than 560,000 people in this country died due to drug overdoses – this is a death toll larger than the entire population of Atlanta.
  • These staggering numbers have put drug overdoses as a leading cause of death in America, surpassing the combined totals for gun homicides and car crashes. Shockingly enough, sustaining this death toll is the equivalent of experiencing an event like September 11, 2001 every three weeks.

In 2015, 27 million people reported current use of illegal drugs or abuse of prescriptions drugs.

Opioids are a prime contributor to our addiction and overdose crisis. In 2015, nearly two-thirds of drug overdoses were linked to opioids like Percocet, OxyContin, heroin and fentanyl. In fact, Americans consume more opioids than any other country in the world. The staggering amount of opioids prescribed in the U.S. in 2015 was enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks.

Looking ahead, drug overdoses are expected to remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, as synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl and its analogues — continue to push the death count higher.

Drug deaths involving fentanyl more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, accompanied by an upturn in deaths involving cocaine and methamphetamine. Together, these drugs are killing people at a faster rate than the H.I.V. epidemic at its peak.

Opioid Abuse in Georgia:

In Georgia from June of 2016 to May of 2017, the total number of opioid doses prescribed to Georgia patients surpassed 541 million. To put that in perspective, that is approximately 54 doses for every man, woman and child in Georgia.

Georgia is also among the top 11 states with the most opioid overdose deaths, and 55 Georgia counties have an overdose rate higher than the national average.