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Opioid Deaths on the Rise in Georgia

December 21, 2017  |  Substance Abuse Research Alliance
The information provided here is for informational and educational purposes and does not necessarily reflect the opinion and/or policy position of the Georgia Municipal Association.

Opioid overdose death rates including heroin in Georgia have increased significantly – from 1.4 to 9.5 per 100,000 persons between 1999 and 2016.

The Substance Abuse Research Alliance's report, Prescription Opioids and Heroin Epidemic in Georgia (PDF, 1.65MB), is a great source of information on the impact of the opioid crisis in Georgia. Key findings in the report include:
  • While 47 prescription opioid overdose deaths occurred in 1999 in Georgia, resulting in a rate of 0.6 per 100,000 age-adjusted deaths, the most recent available data show a more than tenfold increase to 595 deaths, or a rate of 5.7 per 100,000 age-adjusted deaths, in 2016.
  • Of the 1,426 drug overdose deaths in 2016 in Georgia, 982 or 69 percent were due to opioid overdoses including heroin. Further, drug overdose deaths more than quadrupled between 1999 and 2016.
  • The economic burden of prescription opioid overdose, misuse and disorders in the U.S. is estimated at $78.5 billion in 2013 with over one third of this amount coming from increased health care and substance use treatment costs ($28.9 billion). The health care costs associated with opioid misuse in Georgia alone were estimated at $447 million in 2007 with estimated per-capita costs at $44.