Opioid Addiction in Columbus, Georgia
Much of America’s opioid abuse stems from prescriptions for powerful pain-relieving pills to treat chronic pain. Due to the addictive nature of these drugs, patients become dependent on pain pills, and opioid use disorders emerge. Georgia is in the top 11 states for opioid deaths, and the Columbus area is among the hardest hit. The state witnessed a tenfold increase of opioid abuse from 1999 to 2014, totaling 549 deaths.
Additionally, 55 out of 159 counties in Georgia endured higher opioid abuse rates than the U.S. average. In 2015, Georgia witnessed 1,307 drug overdoses—”900, or 88%,” were directly related to heroin use. In 2017, 27 people fatally overdosed on opioids. Of those 27 fatalities, deaths involved both prescription and synthetic opioids.
Columbus Drug Busts
Muscogee county, home to Columbus, Georgia, witnessed a “historical drug bust” in 2017. Local law officials seized $ 4.1 million in heroin and meth. A man was also arrested for possessing $6,000 in cocaine and 6 ecstasy pills. Despite these findings, opioids are the biggest threat in the city of Columbus.
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Opioid Dependence and Abuse Symptoms
A key factor in understanding opioid use disorders and dependences is identifying mild to threatening symptoms of abuse. Using opioids without a prescription, taking extra doses, or using pills as mood boosters can indicate abuse. Relying on the pills to cope with emotional difficulties or continuing to use them despite negative consequences are also examples of potential abuse. Experiencing cravings for the substance can indicate opioid dependences. Lastly, feeling as if prescription pills are not strong enough, and intentionally seeking a “more intense high” via synthetic opioids is a strong indicator of opioid dependence and abuse.
Typical signs of opioid abuse include:
- Needle marks (if using intravenously)
- Itchy, dry skin
- Weight loss
- Increased euphoria
- Emotional instability/aggression
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Doctor Shopping and Opioid Abuse
Doctor shopping is a common practice for patients obtaining prescription opioids for misuse. Doctor shopping is when patients visit multiple doctors to get prescriptions for one or many chronic illnesses. Since some doctors do not check if the patient is currently taking pain medication, they risk administering the patient multiple drugs, unknowingly increasing their exposure to several prescription opioids.
Who Is at Risk for Opioid Abuse and Overdose in Columbus?
According to the Substance Abuse Research Alliance, “non-Hispanic whites and American Indian or Alaskan Natives” were most at risk for opioid dependence and abuse. Other statistics noted people between 25 to 54-years old, particularly males, were at risk. People with a history of mental health conditions and past substance abuse disorders are also more likely to develop an opioid use disorder.
Find Addiction Treatment in Columbus, Georgia
Opioid abuse is 1 of America’s most wide-spread epidemics. The first step towards recovery is taking empowered action and contacting a devoted treatment provider. They are available to answer one’s questions about treatment practices and rehab options. Financial choices may influence someone to travel or stay local and reaching out to a treatment facility can help clarify some of these choices. Contact a provider today and get closer to thriving in your wellness.