Atlanta, Georgia, the capital city of the Southeast, is also known across the globe as an international city. Direct flights to and from Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport has made the city easily accessible, not only to travelers from across the United States, but from Europe, South America and Asia as well.
Because of Atlanta’s position as a crossroads of the world, the population growth in the city is unprecedented, having increased by 40 percent in the past decade alone. This has caused Atlanta’s domestic and international commerce to explode with more than 1,000 international businesses in operation and 50 different countries with representation in the city through trade offices, chambers of commerce and consulates.
But increase in travel, population and commerce is, unfortunately, not the only fast-paced growth Atlanta is experiencing. With expanded commerce and population comes expanded drug abuse. In particular, an increase in addiction to opiates that is taking hold in the metro areas and suburbs of the city like nothing the Atlanta area has ever seen before. Several major counties in Atlanta have reported a more than 100% increase in the number of heroin-related deaths in the years from 2011 to 2013. And while Georgia Medical Examiner Dr. Kris Sperry says that prescription medication deaths are still the main cause of drug related deaths, heroin deaths will most likely continue to rise if effective measures aren’t taken to combat the problem.
Additionally, out of all heroin treatment admissions, there is a particularly alarming increase in the drug’s usage in the age range of 18-28-year-olds which has increased from 57.7 percent of total heroin admissions in 2011, to 58.4 percent in 2012, to 63.6 percent of all heroin admissions being young adults in the first half of 2013. It is a particularly harrowing statistic. Prescription drug abuse has reportedly fueled the rise in heroin addiction in the younger demographic, as addicts turn toward heroin because it is cheaper and easier to buy than prescription drugs.
Heroin is very addictive. A person using the substance may experience feelings of euphoria, his or her eyelids will be constricted, and they will probably be a bit dopy and may fade in and out of wakefulness. You may also see signs of itching, nausea and vomiting in a user as well. A user may nod off suddenly and their breathing may slow, which could indicate they are overdosing.
The increase in deaths by heroin overdose in Atlanta is a problem of dangerous and epic proportions. And as you will see below, the pathway to heroin addiction can be paved by a wide and varied use of other drugs, especially prescription medications.
The Drug Abuse Problem in Atlanta
In 2009 the most common drug abuse substances in Atlanta as reported by the drug addiction facilities were cocaine, marijuana and alcohol. Although heroin and methamphetamine usage is currently on the rise like never before in the Atlanta area, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol are still the major drugs of choice.
Out of all the drugs listed above, alcohol was the most commonly used in the Atlanta area. This substance contributed to 50 percent of all known users admitted for treatment. Alcohol was also the most commonly used secondary drug with the users of cocaine and marijuana. Crisis hotline calls relating to alcohol abuse ranked first among all drug-related issues in Atlanta in 2012.
Hiding consumption of alcohol, needing a drink in order to feel better, drinking excessively and regularly, losing control and blacking out, are all indications the person has an addiction problem.
Although still one of the more prevalent drugs used in Atlanta, cocaine use was recently reported as decreasing, from 12.8 percent of all drug treatment admissions in 2010, to 10.8 percent in 2011, to 10.5 percent in 2012 and finally to 9.2 percent in the first part of 2013. An achievement to note in the war on drugs is that it was the first time that less than 10 percent of Atlanta’s primary substance abuse treatment admissions were for cocaine. In the same time period the user demographic of this substance shows an increase of 25-34-year-olds seeking abuse treatment for cocaine in Atlanta, while the number of overall deaths from this insidious drug decreased.
As with most drugs, cocaine users are at risk for becoming addicted to this drug. It has a very negative effects on the heart, brain and emotions of the person, with long-term and possibly life threatening consequences.
The reports for number of people seeking treatment for marijuana-related issues also slightly decreased over the past few years, from 17.3 percent in 2011, to 16.3 percent in 2012, and to 16.1 percent in the first part of 2013. Even though this is an actual decrease in incidents concerning this drug, the percentiles show that it is still one of the more commonly used illicit drugs in Atlanta, Georgia.
A person who is under the influence of marijuana and who uses the drug regularly will have coordination problems, difficulty thinking, distorted perceptions, and ongoing problems with memory and learning.
According to available reports, Oxycodone was the prescription drug most widely used in the Atlanta area, though information from treatment admission facilities indicates that incidents from oxycodone-related incidents decreased from 3.0 percent in 2012, to 2.8 percent in the first half of 2013—this after previously increasing during the years of 2007 to 2011.
Symptoms of an oxycodone user are very similar to symptoms of a heroin user.
Treatment admissions continue to increase year after year, from 5.2 percent in 2010, to 5.7 percent in 2011, to 6.4 percent in 2012, and to 6.8 percent in the first half of 2013. Additionally, the amount of individuals seeking treatment for methamphetamine-related issues in the Atlanta area was the highest since 2006. Also at a 10-year high was the percentage of users who were injecting the drug. The Georgia State Medical Examiner’s Office reported that deaths from methamphetamines increased in 2013 over 2012.
A highly addictive substance, it’s commonly known as “the most dangerous drug on earth,” due to its availability, ease of use, and the ability to manufacture it from ordinary household products.
Find Rehabilitation Facilities in Atlanta
Finding help for yourself or someone you love is of utmost importance when a substance addiction is suspected or detected. You need to speak with someone who is knowledgeable and can show you the various options and solutions to addressing and treating the addiction, whatever it is.
There are many facilities available in the Atlanta area and throughout the United States and the world, each using different approaches. When getting help for an addiction, the first thing is to get yourself fully informed about the nature of the particular addiction you or your loved one is struggling with, and the remedies available. The idea is to get off the drugs safely and completely, with expert administration and guidance of the process by those who are knowledgeable in successfully treating drug addiction. And not just treating the physical dependency, but also addressing what initially caused the person to turn to drugs in the first place. The root of why a person turned to drugs must be addressed in order to handle the addiction completely.