A large group of prescription medication bottles sit on a table in front of a distraught man who is leaning on his hand as he sits at his dining room table.  The image is photographed with a very shallow depth of field with the focus being on the pill bottles in the foreground.

Georgia Substance Abuse Statistics and Drug Use

For over a decade now, the entire United States has experienced some of the worst drug abuse in its history. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared the abuse of and addiction to opioids as being a “pandemic.” Today, that same pandemic is occurring, only now it has reached even more severe levels, forcing it to be referred to as the “opioid crisis.” About 130 Americans are dying each and every day from opioid-related overdoses, nevermind any other type of drug overdoses. Georgia substance abuse statistics are on the rise. While they are certainly not exempt from the presence and impacts of the opioid crisis, they continue to face challenges with other illicit drugs. 

Georgia Substance Abuse Statistics

Methamphetamines Are the Most Widely Abused Drugs in Georgia

According to recent data provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), methamphetamines claim more lives in the Peach State than any other drug, including opioids. In 2018, approximately 1,890 meth cases were turned over to the GBI lab. Following on the heels of these cases were cocaine with 891 cases, alprazolam (Xanax) with 201 cases, oxycodone with 196 cases, and heroin with 175 cases. 

Methamphetamines are stimulant substances that can be homemade and are usually consumed via injection. The Deep South is home to countless meth labs, where individuals concoct meth by using several toxic ingredients such as battery fluid, paint thinner, and acetone, as well as the over-the-counter medication pseudoephedrine. Meth is highly addictive and is also extremely corrosive to the body — both inside and out. Abusing meth for long periods of time can lead to issues such as brittle bones, chronic skin sores, and permanent brain damage. 

Georgia Has a Close Relationship with Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

Prior to meth taking over as the most abused mind-altering substance in Georgia, cocaine held that very title. In Atlanta, cocaine abuse and addiction has run rampant for years. Part of the reason for this is because Georgia remains one of the most drug trafficked states in America, meaning that residents have easy access to large amounts of this particular drug. However, the rate of cocaine abuse in the capital of Georgia has slowly lessened, as more people have enrolled in treatment programs for cocaine addiction over the past 10 years than ever before in the area.

Cocaine, like meth, is also an illicit stimulant substance. When people consume it, they get a rush of energy that lasts only for a short period of time. When the high wears off, users can become agitated and uncomfortable, causing them to use again and again to prevent those feelings. Because cocaine is so addictive and is known for its back-to-back use, it has led to countless overdoses in Georgia. In fact, from 2015-2016, overdose deaths involving a combination of meth and cocaine in Georgia spiked. Research shows that the abuse of these drugs in particular have claimed more lives than HIV/AIDS during its height in the area.

Opioids and Benzos Are Heavily Abused in Georgia

Just because rates of meth and cocaine abuse are the highest in the state, that does not mean that other dangerous substances are being abused, too. Opioids live oxycodone, fentanyl, and hydrocodone are abused at distressing rates. These Georgia substance abuse statistics are alarming: In 2018, overdose deaths involving heroin increased to 2.9 per every 100,000 persons in Georgia. More than 60% of all drug overdose deaths among Georgians involved opioids in that same year. 

Similar to other areas of the country, Georgians are exposed to high levels of prescription painkillers via prescribing providers working in the state. Unfortunately, many prescribing professionals continue to prescribe opioids at astonishingly high rates, leading to more pills than needed in the hands of residents. In 2018, there were 63.2 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 persons in Georgia. The national average of opioid prescriptions per 100 people is 51.4, showing a higher incidence rate in the Peach State than in the country on the whole. 

But opioids are not to blame for all of the complications the state of Georgia faces as a result of substance abuse. Benzodiazepines, commonly called “benzos”, have also ruined the lives of many. Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan are just some benzodiazepines that have made their way into the mainstream due to overprescription by providers. They are also readily available because more people than ever before are experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorders, prompting the prescription of these medications, contributing to higher substance abuse statistics in the state of Georgia. When abused, benzos can produce a pleasant sense of detachment, relaxation, and euphoria, which is what most people who abuse these drugs seek to obtain. Like opioids, benzos are highly addictive and can be extremely difficult to stop using. As a result, many people continue to abuse them or lose their lives to them. 

Luxury Sober Living in Georgia

Dealing with an addiction on your own can be isolating and frightening. If you are struggling with an addiction to meth, cocaine, opioids, or any other addictive substance, reach out to us right now. At Creekside Recovery Residences our sober living for men, sober living for women, and luxury sober living backed with outpatient programming can show you how to overcome challenges associated with your active addiction so that you can begin living a happier, more productive life. Call us today at 470.391.4603

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