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Prescription Opioids and Heroin Epidemic in Georgia


Substance Abuse Research Alliance (SARA) is a program of the Georgia Prevention Project, and it
initiated this study in April of 2016 as the organization’s first collaborative project with a primary goal to
assist the Georgia State Senate Study Committee on Opioids and Heroin in its work.
With more than 60 participants, SARA includes researchers and practitioners with a wide spectrum of
experience in substance misuse work. SARA participants represent the following organizations:
• Applied Research Services, Inc.
• Augusta University
• Carter Center Mental Health Program
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• Emory University – multiple departments
and programs
• Georgia Council on Substance Abuse
• Georgia Department of Behavioral Health
and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD)
• Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH)
• Georgia Prevention Project
• Georgia Southern University

SARA believes that opioid and heroin
use in Georgia seriously threatens the
health, prosperity and general wellbeing of Georgians throughout the
state, across almost all sectors of life
and work.
Like Georgia, several other states struggle
over how to ameliorate the suffering and
death rates associated with prescription
opioids and heroin, how to prevent
citizens from misusing these substances,
and how to intervene effectively to treat
opioid use disorder and promote longterm recovery.
SARA stands ready to assist the Georgia
Legislature and the State Senate Study
Committee in any way that we can.

• Georgia State University – multiple
departments and programs
• Lab Solutions, Inc.
• Mercer School of Medicine
• Morehouse School of Medicine – multiple
departments and programs
• Parkaire Consultants, Inc.
• Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
• Skyland Trail
• The Council on Alcohol and Drugs
• University of Georgia – multiple departments
and programs

What you need to know now
The U.S.
200 percent prescription opioid overdose (OD) deaths
increase since 2000
125 million Americans who reported misusing
prescription pain relievers in the past year
80 percent of heroin users reported using
prescription opioids for non-medical
reasons before beginning to use heroin

549 opioid drug ODs in 2015
29 counties where drug OD rates outpace U.S. average
11 Georgia ranks among top 11 states with most
prescription opioid OD deaths

©2016 Georgia Prevention Project - All Rights Reserved.