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Georgia was the fourth state to enter the union on January 2, 1788. The state capital is Atlanta, GA and is home to 420,003 of Georgia’s 9,687,653 residents. Wisdom, justice and moderation is the state motto. Georgia is also known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. The Cherokee rose is the state flower and the live oak is their state tree. As 2010 the census shows that there are 4,729,171 (48.8%) Male; Female: 4,958,482 (51.2%). White: 5,787,440 (59.7%); Black: 2,950,435 (30.5%); American Indian: 32,151 (0.3%); Asian: 314,467 (3.2%); Other race: 388,872 (4.0%); Two or more races: 207,489 (2.1%); Hispanic/Latino: 853,689 (8.8%). 2010 population 18 and over: 7,196,101; 65 and over: 1,032,035 (10.7%); median age: 34.7.

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This week's topic is:

Georgia Drug Use Trends

Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States, and is the 8th most populous state in the nation. Atlanta is the capital of the state and also its most populous city. The Atlantic Ocean lies on the eastern border of the state as does South Carolina and Florida to the south. Substance abuse is a problem in Georgia, with over 7% of Georgia residents reporting use of some sort of illicit drug in the past month. According to treatment admissions data collected from drug rehab programs in Georgia, the primary drugs of abuse seem to be marijuana, stimulants such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and other opiates which would include opiates other than heroin such as prescription pain killers.

Statistics indicate that for youth ages 12 to 17 in Georgia, 3 out of 10 report having (29.5%) used alcohol at some point in their lives, and 1 in 5 (18.8%) used at least one of the illicit drugs. Among young adults ages 18 to 25 in Georgia, nearly 72% report having used alcohol within the past year, one-third engaged in "binge drinking", 25% experimented with marijuana, 31% abused at least one illicit drug, and 11% abused pain relievers. Among adults ages 26 or older in Georgia, 63% report having used alcohol within the past year, 20% engaged in "binge drinking", and (11%) abused an illicit drug.

Prescription Drugs

A category of drugs which are commonly abused among Georgia residents are called "other opiates", which refers to opioid prescription drugs that are similar in chemical formulation and hence result in many of the same effects as the illicit street drug heroin. This is not just a problem in Georgia, but a national epidemic in fact. The consequences are startling and the rate of drug overdose deaths in Georgia, primarily caused from prescription drugs, have tripled since 1999. Hospital admissions for overdoses of opiates other than heroin also rose an astounding 1,000 percent between 2000-2012 in Georgia. In 2012 for which the most recent information has been collected regarding the problem, about 76 percent of the drug overdoses in Georgia were from prescription drugs. And sadly, this is not a problem only affecting adults, and is also affecting very young children in the state. Recent statistics indicate that 23 percent of teens in Georgia say they have taken a prescription drug that was not prescribed to them, 75% of which say that they first took drugs in this way when they were 14 or younger.


Methamphetamine is also a very serious problem in the state of Georgia, despite efforts by law enforcement agencies curb the problem but attempting to shut down meth labs and hence production of the drug. Unfortunately, meth lab incidents in Georgia have increased significantly instead of declining as is the case with most other state, with 128 such incidents in 2009. This too is a problem which starts very young for Georgia residents, and the Department of Health reports that Georgia is 3rd in the nation in total number of meth users between 12 and 17 years old. About 1 in 10 Georgia teens report having close friends who use meth, 1 in 25 say they have had friends who have been in treatment for meth use, and 1 in 10 reporting having had a family member in treatment for using meth.

Because of the devastating consequences that Georgia residents face if they don't put an end to substance abuse, regardless of the drug they are abusing, it is crucial that they are aware of the help available to them when they can't help themselves. Will power is often not enough no matter how badly someone wants to put an end to their substance abuse problem, but this doesn't mean they are weak or a bad person. It just means they need actual solutions they can apply to the problem and their lives, and this is where drug rehab in Georgia comes in.

Treatment is only as beneficial and successful as the time and effort that is put into it in a drug rehab program in Georgia. In a treatment program which provides an inpatient or residential stay in Georgia, individuals will not only receive expert detox services but more importantly the additional support to determine the causes of the problem and what specifically triggers it. This is a challenging process and there are no promises, but if clients in Georgia take the time to address anything which could compromise their abstinence and are in the right environment to do it they have the best chance at making a full recovery. Outpatient programs are in many cases not the appropriate environment, although many treatment clients in Georgia are currently enrolled in such treatment programs. It is a good idea to reevaluate whether or not transitioning to an inpatient or residential program in the state would be a good idea, particularly if an individual is experiencing any type of relapse or setbacks in treatment.

Population in Georgia:9,072,576
State Prison Population in Georgia:51,104
Probation Population in in Georgia:419,350
Violent Crime Rate in Georgia:
National Ranking:19
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Georgia:
Cocaine seizures in Georgia:1,218.0 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Georgia:3.4 kgs.
Methamphetamine seizures in Georgia:16.4 kgs./1 du
Marijuana seizures in Georgia:2,028.0 kgs./3 du
Hashish seizures in Georgia:100.5 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Georgia:0.0 kgs./47,041 du
Meth Lab Incidents in Georgia:55
(DEA, Georgia, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Georgia:
  • The state of Georgia is a final destination point for drug shipments and a smuggling corridor for drugs transported along the East Coast. Extensive interstate highway, rail, and bus transportation networks, as well as international, regional, and private air and marine ports of entry serve the State of Georgia.
  • Georgia is also strategically located on the I-95 corridor between New York City and Miami, the key wholesale-level drug distribution centers on the East Coast and major drug importation hubs. Also, Interstate Highway runs directly into Georgia from drug entry points along the southwest border and Gulf Coast.
  • The city of Atlanta, Georgia has become an important city for drug-trafficking organizations as it is the largest city in the South.
  • The Mexico-U.S. Southwest Border area continues to be the primary source and staging area for cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin introduced into the Atlanta Field Division in Georgia.
  • There are 9.3 million legal residents in the state of Georgia, and Hispanics comprise over 5 percent of the population. Growth of the Hispanic population in Georgia has been aided by an influx of undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico. Intelligence currently shows that as the Mexican immigrant community has grown, so too has the presence of Mexican traffickers. Mexican poly-drug organizations have been identified as the largest foreign threat in the State of Georgia, predominantly trafficking in cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin. Moreover, Mexican traffickers now supply kilogram quantities of cocaine HCl directly to local crack cocaine dealers.
  • Enforcement activities in Georgia have aided in identifying smuggling routes, concealment methods, and money-laundering operations employed by other foreign DTOs, such as Southeast Asian, West African, South American, and the Caribbean.
  • Mexican traffickers and Mexican DTOs continue to play an increasingly bigger role in the importation and distribution of illegal drugs within Atlanta Division Office in Georgia. Mexican poly-drug organizations are the largest foreign threat in the state, mainly trafficking in cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin. Mexican traffickers now supply kilogram quantities of cocaine HCl directly to local crack cocaine dealers in Georgia.

  • Cocaine and crack cocaine are the most widely available drugs throughout Georgia.
  • Bulk quantities of powder cocaine are smuggled into the State of Georgia most often from the Southwest border.
  • Often, powder cocaine is converted into crack by the local wholesaler or retailer in Georgia. Primary source areas for cocaine are located in Texas.

  • Heroin availability remains stable throughout Atlanta metropolitan area in Georgia.
  • Street-level amounts of heroin have been seized, which attests to the pervasiveness and the availability of the drug in Georgia.
  • Typically, South American, followed by Southwest Asian and Mexican, has been the predominant type of heroin in the Atlanta area in Georgia. However, the most recent reports have shown the reemergence of Southwest Asian heroin in the Atlanta market. The average purity for the Southwest Asian exhibits was 24.2 percent, and South American exhibits averaged 27 percent.

  • Methamphetamine has been Atlanta's fastest growing drug problem for the past 5 years. This trend is particularly true in the Atlanta, Dalton, and Gainesville metropolitan areas in Georgia.
  • Since 200most of the larger methamphetamine seizures in the State of Georgia were the result of stash/distribution site raids or state/local interdiction stops.
  • Methamphetamine laboratories located within the State of Georgia have declined since legislation was enacted in 2005 to restrict the sale of over-the-counter products containing pseudoephedrine, which is one of the essential chemicals used in producing methamphetamine. On the other hand, there has also been a corresponding increase in the availability of methamphetamine-Ice in the Atlanta metropolitan area in Georgia.
  • There were 55 meth lab incidents in Georgia in 2007.

  • Atlanta, Georgia is a transit city for Ecstasy (MDMA) to other U.S. cities.
  • MDMA, GHB, and Ketamine remain popular and easily available around populations of young people such as gyms, college campuses and associated "hang outs" throughout the State of Georgia.
  • LSD is usually encountered at school settings and is imported to Georgia mostly from the West Coast via U.S. Postal Service packages or commercial express mail.
  • The wholesale cost of Ecstasy in Georgia varies between $3 and $15 per pill and the retail price varies between $8 (Atlanta) and $25 (Savannah). Ecstasy is readily available in Atlanta's nightclubs, "Rave" parties, and concerts that target the younger population.

  • The illegal use of hydrocodone and oxycodone products (such as Vicodin) and OxyContin) continues to be a problem in Georgia.
  • Xanax and Lorcet have been identified as being among the most commonly abused and diverted pharmaceuticals in Georgia.
  • Primary methods of diversion being reported in Georgia are illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers, "doctor shopping", and the Internet.

  • The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) established the Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in 1995 in Georgia. The Atlanta HIDTA's mission is to target drugs and violence within DeKalb County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, and Fulton County, as well as the city of Atlanta. There are agencies participating in the Atlanta HIDTA, five of which are federal agencies.
  • There were 513 drug violation arrests in Georgia in 2007.

State Policy Offices : Georgia

  • Governor's Office Office of the Governor
    State Capitol, Room 203
    Atlanta, GA 30334
    (404) 656-1776
  • State Legislative Contact Legislative Counsel
    State Capitol, Room 316
    Atlanta, GA 30334
    (404) 656-5000
  • State Drug Program Coordinator Deputy Director for Substance Abuse Services
    Department of Human Resources
    878 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 319
    Atlanta, GA 30309
    (404) 894-4200

State Criminal Justice Offices : Georgia

  • Attorney General's Office Law Department
    Judicial Building, Room 132
    40 Capitol Square SW
    Atlanta, GA 30334-1300
    (404) 656-3347
  • Law Enforcement Planning Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
    10 Park Place South, Suite 200
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    (404) 656-1721
  • Crime Prevention Program Georgia Crime Prevention Program
    40 Marietta Street NW, Suite 800
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    (404) 656-3851
  • Crime Prevention Office Georgia Crime Prevention Association
    4400 Memorial Drive
    Decatur, GA 30032
    (404) 294-2574
  • Statistical Analysis Center Statistical Analysis Bureau
    Department of Criminal Justice
    Georgia State University
    P.O. Box 4018
    Atlanta, GA 30302
    (404) 651-3515
  • Uniform Crime Reports Contact Uniform Crime Reports
    Georgia Crime Information Center
    Georgia Bureau of Investigation
    P.O. Box 370748
    Decatur, GA 30037
    (404) 244-2622
  • BJA Strategy Preparation Agency Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
    10 Park Place South, Suite 200
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    (404) 651-6870
  • Judicial Agency Administrative Office of the Courts
    State Office Building Annex
    244 Washington Street SW, Room 550
    Atlanta, GA 30334
    (404) 656-5171
  • Corrections Agency Department of Corrections
    Floyd Memorial Building
    East Tower, Suite 866
    205 Butler Street SE
    Atlanta, GA 30334
    (404) 656-4605

State Health Offices : Georgia

  • RADAR Network Agency Georgia Prevention Resource Center
    Division of Mental Health
    878 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 319
    Atlanta, GA 30309
    (404) 894-4204
  • HIV-Prevention Program Epidemiology and Prevention Branch
    Division of Public Health
    Georgia Department of Human Resources
    Two Peachtree Street NW, 6th Floor
    Atlanta, GA 30303-3186
    (404) 657-2588
  • Drug and Alcohol Agency Division of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse
    Department of Human Resources
    878 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 319
    Atlanta, GA 30309
    (404) 894-4785

State Education Office : Georgia

  • State Coordinator for Drug-Free Schools Georgia State Board of Education
    Health and Physical Education
    2054 Twin Towers East
    Atlanta, GA 30334-5040
    (404) 651-9406

Georgia: Substance Abuse Trends & Statistics

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Georgia: Substance Abuse Resources

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