Opioid Abuse in Savannah, GA
There is a crisis raging in America. The abuse of opioids, including over-the-counter prescriptions and illicit substances such as heroin is impacting communities all over America. The epidemic is affecting communities here in Savannah, GA and throughout the rest of the state. Particularly, the rural communities have been hit the hardest by opioid abuse. The tight-knit culture of rural communities and lack of access to treatment both contribute to high rate of substance abuse. Rural towns are sadly seeing an overdose rate much higher than that of more populated cities.
More than 130 people die a day from opioid abuse according to the Health Resources and Services Administration. A 2014 study showed that in Georgia alone, 60% of the areas experiencing an overdose rate higher than the rest of the United States were in rural counties. Opioid addiction can look like:
- Taking someone else’s prescription
- Insistence on taking substance, despite circumstance
- Substandard work performance
- Persistent prescription refills
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, we have resources to get you help. Visit one of our treatment pages or learn about treatment options in your city.
The History of Opioid Abuse in Savannah, GA
The opioid epidemic did not take hold over night. The crisis began in the late 90’s when pharmaceutical companies began marketing opioids as a painkiller with little chance of becoming addictive. This myth led to doctors over-prescribing the substances. The crisis was able to establish a foot hold this way. Georgia specifically saw the rate of overdose fatalities rise by 245% from 2010 – 2017. Unfortunately opioids allow individuals to build a tolerance. They begin taking more of the substance after they notice a different effect. The tolerance can lead to abusing an illicit opioid, such as heroin, which is cheaper than prescription opioids.
In fact, in 2018 Georgia actually saw a decrease in prescription opioid and synthetic opioid (excluding methadone) overdoses, while the heroin overdose rate rose. Some attempts have been made to curb the opioid epidemic such as Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. More so, doctors have begun to prescribe opioids less. In 2018 providers in Georgia wrote 63.2 opioid prescriptions per 100 people, which is higher than the national average, but the lowest rate the state has seen since 2006. More so, universities have received funding to further address the issues that are leading to rural Georgia’s opioid abuse.
Rural Opioid Abuse Today
Although efforts have been made to curb the opioid problem, the simple fact of the matter is that it has not yet been enough. Studies have found that in rural communities, older parts of the community are the most prone to opioid abuse. These individuals are typically prescribed the opioids to deal with chronic pain and have been found to share their painkillers with others in their age cohort. More so, rural communities tend to be lower income. The low income has led to the rare cases where older individuals sell their prescription painkillers for excess income. Illegal selling is also occurring in small town pharmacies. Pharmacists may run into an individual needing a suspicious refill, and provide them with the opioid anyway.
Unfortunately, both the age range and culture of rural communities creates a stigma around treatment and different treatment types. An older individual may have a difficult time admitting they are facing addiction, due to the stage they are at in their lives. Additionally, they may have family that they do not want to know about their condition. Of course, this can be helped by relocating for treatment. However, accepting that one is facing addiction must be done before they can admit that they need treatment. Research has found that medication-assisted treatment, such as using methadone, is not widely available in rural communities. When treatment is not widely available it allows the addiction to persist and become worse.
How to Overcome Opioid Addiction
Keep in mind that the nation as a whole is in peril over opioid addiction. You or a loved one are not facing addiction alone in Savannah, GA. There is a tendency to begin abuse with over-the-counter prescriptions, and move on to synthetic opioids, or even heroin. Opioid related fatalities are on the rise in Georgia, and it is time to do something about it.
Call 912-214-3867 and learn about how you can beat opioid addiction today. With the rate of 130 individuals overdosing from opioids a day, there is no time to lose. Always remember that you have options, and that you do not have to face addiction alone.
Find Your Courage
There are many different forms of treatment, including short and long-term, appropriate for the severity of addiction. Not to mention, there are a variety of facilities and payment options that can work for you or a loved one. Learning about all of these options can be intimidating, and that’s why we’re here for you. Our experts can provide information on opioid addiction and treatment, facilities, coverage, and payment options. Do not feel ashamed, addiction is a disease and has to be treated like one. No one asks to be a victim of a disease, and we want to help you beat it.