Prescription Drug Abuse in Georgia

Prescription drug abuse is getting out of control in Georgia and across the nation. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has released statistics revealing that the state experienced 664 deaths due to a drug overdose between 2010 and 2011. A whopping 512 of those fatalities came as a result of prescription drugs. In this same period of time, the number of pain clinics in Georgia ballooned from a reasonable 10 to an incredible 140.


This astonishing statistic has precipitated the passage of new legislation meant to discourage pill mills. While there are legitimate situations for prescribing such painkillers as Oxycontin and Vicodin, these drugs have the potential of creating addiction and may lead to abuse.


This problem becomes even more troubling when one realizes the high percentage of teenagers among the population of prescription drug abusers. Almost every addiction recovery facility in the nation recognizes the widespread need for adolescent treatment. The statistics show that one in five high school have taken legal drugs in an illegal way. Even without a prescription from a doctor, they are finding a supply among their friends and family.


In addition to using friends and family members as a source, addicts have found a range of ways to obtain their drugs of choice. Strategies include purchasing pills from illegal online pharmacies, and “doctor shopping,” which involves visiting several doctors and misrepresenting the situation in order to receive multiple prescriptions for the same ailment and substance. In addition, some individuals even resort to theft and burglary from residences, pharmacies,  and physicians’ offices. Doctors have played a part in exacerbating the problem due to negligent and intentional over prescription of painkillers. As a result, the number of individuals in need of an addiction recovery program has risen dramatically.


One of the biggest sources for prescription drugs in the state has been questionably-operated pain management clinics, or “pill mills.” These establishments provide easy access to prescription drugs by purporting to be genuine pain management facilities but failing to conduct proper medical exams before issuing prescriptions. In 2013, Georgia lawmakers passed legislation designed to license and regulate these clinics, providing law enforcement with better tools to put a halt to illicit prescription sales while at the same allowing legitimate physicians to offer appropriate pain management to their patients.


Another new development involves the “911 Medical Amnesty/Naloxone Law”, a move to provide limited legal immunity to intoxicated minors who reach out for help for themselves or other drug-abusing individuals. The law removes the threat of legal repercussion from any person who provides aid to another who appears to overdosing. This has also expanded the use of naloxone, a medication capable of reversing the effects of opioid overdose that is often utilized in substance abuse treatment centers. In the first year following passage of the law, increased use of naloxone resulted in 229 instances of opiate overdose reversals that might have otherwise proven fatal.


If you or someone close to you is suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, a drug abuse treatment facility can provide the tools necessary to overcome dependency. Contact Right Path Drug Rehab today, and we will help you find a drug rehab center that will work for you! Don’t suffer with addiction any longer, get help today!

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