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Post Session Update: Combatting the Opioid Epidemic
Steve Gooch
Steve Gooch.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is an epidemic that has claimed more than 630,000 lives from 1999 to 2016. While your immediate thought might be that this epidemic is referring to vehicle accidents, cancer, heart disease or another type of health condition, you would be wrong. The growing epidemic the CDC is referring to is drug overdoses from illicit drugs and prescription opioids. In 2016 alone there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths and opioids contributed to 66 percent of those. According to the CDC, this means that on average “115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.” Drug overdoses in Georgia in 2016, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids, totaled more than 1,400 according to the Georgia Department of Health data. In comparison, 10 years earlier in 2006, the number of drug overdose deaths was approximately 767. Georgia’s rate of opioid overdoses rose 10.5 percent from 2014-2015, categorizing our state as a “significant” increase in overdoses.

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