Opioid misuse doesn’t just affect those with a prescription. Addiction and overdose have a history of taking our loved ones, tearing families apart, and causing pain in our communities. In 2019, Georgia recorded 853 opioid-involved overdose deaths. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the problem. The state has seen a rise in overdoses and trips to the ER, while opioid users face complications fighting off the virus.
How Georgia Is Taking Action
Funded by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) through SAMHSA, State Opioid Response (SOR) is using our network of partners to rally the state together to fight the stigma. It takes a village to combat a crisis this size. So, we’ve identified 5 guiding principles that students, first responders, city officials, and everyone across the state can follow to make a difference.
Five Ways We’re Making Change Happen
- Secure Storage. Prevention starts with understanding, which is why we educate others on the importance of storing opioid prescriptions in a secure place and safely disposing unused pills in one-way Drug Drop Boxes.
- Alternative Treatment. To anyone worried about the strength of a prescription or needing a refill, we always suggest speaking to their doctor about alternative pain management options to prevent potential misuse.
- Emergency Plan. We recommend keeping naloxone on hand in case someone accidentally overdoses on opioids. This life-saving drug can quickly reverse the effects of the opioid.
- Free Support Lines. In times of crisis, no one should feel alone. By calling the Georgia Crisis & Access Line, Georgians can access free support and confidential aid in emergency situations.
- 911 Protection. Do NOT run away or worry about getting yourself in trouble. The Good Samaritan Law offers various protections for those calling 911 and those receiving medical attention.
How You Can Get Involved
No matter what part of the state you call home, there’s something you can do to combat the crisis in your community. See how you can take action now by attending a local event, learning about the risks, or participating in school prevention programs. United, we are greater than the opioid epidemic. Because united, we are Georgia.