Georgia Substance Abuse Statistics
Like other places, Georgia has its share of public health crises. Drug abuse is among the most serious challenges that the state’s population faces, and it takes many distinct forms.
Whether you or someone that you care about is dealing with these problems, keeping yourself informed about the statistics and treatment options can help. Here’s what you should understand about Georgia substance abuse statistics.
Georgia Alcohol Abuse Statistics
Alcohol is probably the most commonly abused drug in human history. Media sources feed people commercials that depict drinking as being cool, and it’s widely accepted as a normal social activity even though scientific studies say it’s 114 times more deadly than illegal drugs like marijuana.
Georgia didn’t even grant courts the option of commanding first-time DUI offenders to install ignition interlocks until 2016. On top of somewhat underwhelming attitudes to dealing with this grave issue, the state suffers from numerous other alcohol abuse-related obstacles.
- In 2016, there were more than 19,000 statewide arrests for DUIs.
- In almost 50 percent of all cases where people seeking addiction treatment in Atlanta during the first half of 2013, alcohol was the primary drug of abuse. Among Atlanta residents who tried treatment for cocaine or marijuana use, alcohol was the second-most misused substance.
- In 2010, nationwide alcohol abuse healthcare costs reached $27 billion, with $249 billion in overall costs related to lost work productivity and crime.
- In 2015, heavy alcohol use was higher among college students than among their age-group peers who weren’t in college.
Georgia Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics
The prescription drug abuse problem that took the nation by storm at the beginning of the 20th Century hasn’t spared Georgians. As the office of the state’s attorney general notes, this form of substance misuse is particularly prevalent in teen populations. Some doctors may also overprescribe medication negligently or intentionally.
Although it’s hard to pin down the scope of the prescription drug abuse problem, some troublesome indicators include that:
- Around 361,000 people, or 4.62 percent of Georgia citizens, used pain relievers for non-medical purposes from 2008 to 2009,
- During the same period, 6.24 percent of 12- to 17-year-old Georgians used pain relief drugs non-medically,
- Addicted persons who have abused opiate prescription drugs are increasingly likely to transition to heroin because it’s cheaper, and
- Some 4.5 million Americans used prescription pain relievers non-medically in 2013.
Georgia Illegal Drug Use Statistics
Georgia has harsh criminal laws concerning illegal drugs, but abuse remains a problem across many different age groups and demographics. Although some areas, like Atlanta, exhibit decreasing trends for treatment admissions concerning drugs like cocaine, cannabis, and MDMA, usage of heroin, methamphetamine, and other hazardous substances seems to be on the rise.
Advocacy groups and lawmakers say that Georgia and Atlanta are important Southeastern drug trafficking locations for international cartels and criminal organizations. This unique position contributes to a high availability of various substances.
- According to the University of Georgia, people who use illicit drugs may be more likely to abuse prescription painkillers.
- From 2002 to 2007, methamphetamine was the primary drug of abuse for 22.4 percent of Georgians between the ages of 21 and 25, and heroin in Georgia was primary drug of abuse among 14.8 percent of people from 41 to 45 years old.
- Following a six-year period of decline, cocaine usage among American college students doubled from 2013 to 2014 and remained high the following year.
- Statewide, MDMA and GHB are the most commonly abused club drugs, and marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug.
Georgia Combined Drug Use Statistics
Drug abuse varies widely, and the circumstances of someone’s addiction play big roles in the types of outcomes they might face. For instance, individuals who begin using at a younger age may have a harder time overcoming their harmful behaviors. Those who get detained by the police or indicted on criminal charges might find that they lose important career and education opportunities, like job offers or student loan eligibility.
- The CDC reported that in 2014, more than 10 percent of all Americans above the age of 11 had used illicit drugs within the prior month. More than 2 percent had used prescription drugs for reasons other than valid medical purposes.
- Unemployed individuals may be more likely to abuse drugs in Georgia.
- From 2009 to 2013, an annual average of 73,000 adolescents, or about 8.9 percent of the state’s population in that age group, reported that they had used illicit drugs during the month before they were surveyed. Although this percentage was slightly lower than the national average starting in 2009, the gap steadily closed until Georgia’s adolescent drug use surpassed the countrywide level during the 2012 to 2013 period.
- From 2012 to 2013, 35.6 percent of Georgians between the ages of 12 and 17 reported that they didn’t perceive smoking at least one pack of cigarettes daily to be a big risk. About 56.5 percent felt that drinking more than five drinks once or twice each week was similarly nonhazardous.
What Can You Learn From Georgia’s Substance Abuse Statistics?
Although drug trends and risks fluctuate with factors like age, income, employment status, and other circumstances, one message is clear: Many at-risk Georgians are in need of treatment. Age and demographics aside, those who suffer from drug addiction don’t always know that they need help. It might be up to their loved ones to help them seek it. Talking about the problem is always a good start, but some individuals may require a total change of circumstances to complete an effective, healthy transition.