The Heroin Triangle
Substance abuse is an issue in the state of Georgia. Whether someone is struggling with prescription pills or Heroin, the community and families are deeply affected by substance abuse. State resources must be reallocated to support the fight against addiction. There needs to be funding to combat the growing number of substance addiction and deaths. In the state of Georgia, there is what is called the Heroin triangle. This includes the areas of Kennesaw, Acworth, Cartersville, Cumming, and surrounding cities. The crisis has now expanded northward as well into portions of Cherokee and Forsyth counties.
There has been a 4000% spike in Heroin-related deaths in these areas. That is an incredibly high number. These communities are also where the highest number of heroin-related deaths among young people are found. The triangle area shows the astounding rate of growth of heroin-related overdoses. This is clearly an issue that the state needs to address and have more resources for.
There has been a dramatic increase in heroin-related treatment admissions in Georgia. From 1997 to 2001 the treatment admission number went from 171 people to 628. However, even though there was an increase and continues to be, publicly funded facilities in Georgia remain low. Drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine have more publicly funded facilities in Georgia according to TEDS. The need to have more treatment programs for heroin is clear. The state of Georgia must have the treatment available for individuals to get the help they need in the Heroin Triangle area. Struggling with addiction alone is challenging. It can feel as though there is no hope when it comes to recovering from addiction. The support of family and friends isn’t enough. Often, if a community is lacking treatment centers and other resources it may be difficult for individuals to get the help they need.
The Drug Scene in Savannah
There is a range of people of different ages addicted to heroin. As the drug crisis continues to grow in this country, it is becoming common for young people to be addicted to substances. Sometimes drug use changes among people who are younger or newer to the drug. In Georgia younger, people tend to snort heroin instead of injecting it. Those newer to using the drug tend to do the same as well. This is according to the Community Epidemiology Work Group. The Savannah nightclub scene is full of heroin according to federal law enforcement. The heroin is typically snorted by individuals. The heroin in these nightclubs tends to be in combination with other drugs such as MDMA and cocaine.
Drug addiction can begin as something innocent, such as taking drugs at a nightclub, but over time can turn into a full-on addiction. It is important that authorities stay on top of the drug scene in places like Savannah. The nightclub scene is full of young people who can easily get sucked into doing drugs. It is best for the state to be aware of these issues. By having treatment centers available and resources for individuals to turn to, the drug crisis can be solved over time.
The Human Cost
Heroin is the biggest issue in Atlanta and the triangle, compared to other large cities in Georgia. The rise of heroin addiction in Georgia is clear, but where does the heroin come from? One may assume that it is produced in Georgia. However, this is not the case. The heroin that is available in the United States comes mainly from four main sources. It comes from South America, Mexico, Southeast Asia, and Southwest Asia. The majority of the heroin available in Georgia comes from South America. There is also brown powdered and black tar heroin that is occasionally available. This comes mainly from Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, and Mexico.
In Atlanta, cutting mills are less common than they used to be. A cutting mill is where heroin is cut and packaged for retail sale. Currently, most operations in Atlanta are now bagging operations in which distributors repackage bulk heroin to get it ready to sell. They do this without cutting it with other substances. This is why law enforcement finds higher purity heroin available on the streets.
Heroin and HIV
The drug crisis must stop at the source. However, heroin comes from different countries and is sold by different groups, so it can be hard to get a handle on. Law enforcement is doing their best to keep the situation under control. From 1998 to 2000 the law enforcement in Georgia seized more quantities of heroin. The number then decreased in 2001. Drug-related federal sentences in Georgia involving heroin are considerably lower as compared to the nationwide average. This doesn’t mean that the drug hasn’t done its damage, however. In Georgia deaths involving heroin continued to rise with a 2.9 increased rate in 2018.
The HIV rate is also affected by the increase in drug intake. Of the new HIV diagnoses in 2017, 2,564 occurred in Georgia. This was at an increased rate of 29.7. Among males, 4.1% of HIV diagnoses were attributed to injection drug use. For females newly diagnosed with HIV, 7.9% were from injection drug use. Of the 52,528 people living with HIV in Georgia in 2017, many were from injection drug use. Of the males, 11.2% was from injection drug use and among the females, 14.4% was from injection drug use. Those that struggle with heroin abuse in Georgia and commit crimes is limited. Most criminal activities from those struggling with this addiction in Georgia tend to be nonviolent property crimes.
Once an individual starts using drugs that one action is often followed by more dangerous actions. The correlation between heroin use and HIV infection is not surprising. It is important that issues related to drug addiction are also dealt with in treatment. Resources for individuals struggling with these issues must also be available. Sometimes substance abuse treatment alone doesn’t do enough to combat an individual’s issues. One must look at the full picture and face all their issues when it comes to treatment. Through law enforcement, treatment centers, and more education on the issue, Georgia can get better.
The Battle Within
The struggle with heroin addiction in Georgia continues on. However, the battle with addiction issues can end for you or a loved one with treatment. Don’t let addiction affect you or a loved one’s life any longer. Now is the time to seek out the treatment that is needed. If intervention is needed there are services for that as well. An intervention specialist can help you get a loved one the help they need. Other services such as detox are also available. It is important that an addict starts clean when beginning treatment. Outpatient and inpatient care are available when it comes to recovery treatment. What works best depends on the individual. Now is the time to look into a treatment center near you or a loved one.
Call today and speak with an expert staff member. They can answer any questions you may have in regards to treatment, addiction, and the best steps to take for a full recovery. Regardless of the current situation, it is possible to have a better future. There is a future waiting that involves the sober version of you or a loved one. Seek out treatment now in Georgia and help end the drug crisis.