Health officials seeing Georgia drug overdose increase

Health officials seeing Georgia drug overdose increase
Health officials seeing Georgia drug overdose increase
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 3:21 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2022 at 3:33 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Recent surveys show that drug overdose deaths in Georgia have increased very dramatically.

WALB News 10′s Jim Wallace spoke with Dana Glass, the CEO of Aspire Behavioral Health about what sh’es been seeing. 

“Well for the first time we are actually seeing a dramatic increase locally. Prior to the last 2 years, we had actually managed to escape the opioid crisis narrowly.  There was definitely an issue here. But in the last year, we’ve seen a significant uptick in overdoses and overdose deaths,” she said.

There are not just overdoses, but overdose deaths that are being counted. Health officials said that is very concerning. Glass said Emergency Medical Services is seeing lots of Narcan use trying to protect people’s lives.

“At the end of August, they responded to about 122 overdoses. That’s about every other day. If you do the math and 42% of those overdose responses, they were having to use more than one dose of Narcan to reverse the effects and revive the individual. So that tells you that the strength of what we are seeing here, and the amount used is definitely on the increase.”

Glass added that it’s not just young people that she is seeing falling into opioid problems.

“The biggest increase in use is in the age group of 25 to 44.  Across all ethnicity, we know that addiction does not discriminate. That especially this opioid crisis, everybody is at risk in the community with this,” she said.

Openly talking about the risk of drug addiction is one thing Glass recommends to anyone going through addiction.

“Well, first of all, we’ve got to talk about it. Talk about the risks that are involved. Talk about the reality that’s involved. The other piece of that is if you do know somebody that is struggling, knowing what help is available and resources are available,” she said.