The Opioid Epidemic

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On Wednesday Night, September 19th,  we will have a discussion about the Opioid Epidemic in our community. In the Fall edition of “Communicare” (the magazine published by the Northeast Georgia Health System) the main subject of this edition was drug abuse. It was reported that more than 1400 Georgians died of drug overdoses in 2016 and over 980 of those were from opioids.

One of the stories included in the magazine was about Jeffrey, the grandson of NGHS board member Dallas Gay. Jeffrey was introduced to opioids as a prescription drug following the extraction of his wisdom teeth. Jeffrey became addicted. Later, Dallas checked his medicine cabinet for unused narcotics left over from an earlier surgery. The pills were gone. Dallas said “I was an unintentional supplier for my own grandson.” Jeffrey died from a drug overdose at 21 years of age.

Similar stories are repeated thousands of times each year in the USA. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 64,000 Americans died in 2016 due to opioid overdoses. President Trump has declared the nation’s opioid epidemic a public health emergency authorizing $6 billion in funding and asked the Justice Department for harsher penalties against drug dealers including the death penalty.

While our heart goes out to families who are being devastated by this epidemic around the nation, our discussion Wednesday night will focus closer to home. What can we do to protect those within our circle of influence?

As we begin to focus on this problem, let’s begin with a personal question:

Do you have a family member or friend who struggles with drug addiction?

  • Yes (50%, 10 Votes)
  • No (50%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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