Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South, and its counties were among the nation’s fastest growing in 2007 and 2008. The beautiful surroundings make Georgia a wonderful place to call home: Florida to the south, the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the north. The mild climate and variation of rivers, lakes, mountain ranges and foothills make Georgia as brilliant as it is unique. It can be hard to believe that beneath the layers of the southern state unfold drug and alcohol problems that represent a deeper part of America’s substance abuse issues.

The River Source has encountered many situations where Georgia patients have requested treatment at our community to remove themselves from a distracting and somewhat toxic environment. We find that this is key to successful recovery; it’s extremely beneficial for recovering addcits to have a positive, supportive environment that is free from drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, Georgia is a southern state similar to Arizona, so residents can enjoy the same warm weather, sunny skies and genuine hospitality while seeking treatment.

Why Addiction is Prevalent in Georgia

Historically, Georgia has been a transshipment center for illict drugs that come from over the border. The varied borders of Georgia, its southeastern location, and its large metroplitan areas have made it a target for moving illegal drugs into the United States. In fact, with Georgia’s placement, it’s easy to move drugs east, west and north. There are locations in and near Atlanta that are known distribution centers for Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations.

Over the past few years, border patrol has increased in size, making it more difficult to move drugs into the states. However, these types of moves don’t stop the illegal drug market; instead, they change to accommodate the new situation. It was recently reported that small, concealed meth labs are becoming more of a threat to the state of Georgia. Furthermore, there have been ongoing investigations regarding “ice” trafficking rings near Atlanta. The River Source too has seen an increase in addicts who are struggling with meth addictions.

How Does Georgia Compare to Other States?

Even with known transshipment centers on the borders of Georgia, the state’s sunny character and southern hospitality takes precedence over the drug culture. The number of drug-related deaths is lower than the national average, and approximately 7 percent of Georgia’s residents reported using illegal substances in the past month, compared to the 8 percent national average.

What is interesting, however, is the meth lab seizure incidents that have been reported in the state. This number has increaed by 91 percent, from 67 incidents in 2007 to 128 incidents in 2009, the last years for which data was collected. Meth labs can be difficult to detect since they often take place in run-down warehouses or abandoned homes and buildings. Even with the number of meth labs sprouting up, cocaine is the most commonly reported drug for drug treatment admissions.

A Close Look at the Numbers

Below is the percentage of the Georgia population using and/or abusing drugs.

Illicit Drugs Age 18+
Past Month Illicit Drug Use 1 7.40%
Past Year Marijuana Use 9.68%
Past Month Marijuana Use 5.70%
Past Month Use of Illicit Drugs other Than Marijuana 1 3.20%
Past Year Cocaine Use 2.70%
Past Year Non-Medical Pain Reliever Use 5.05%
Alcohol Age 18+
Past Month Alcohol Use 50.23%
Past Month Binge Alcohol Use 2 22.71%
Past Year Dependence, Abuse & Treatment Age 18+
Illicit Drug Dependence 1 1.88%
Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse 1 2.94%
Alcohol Dependence 3.40%
Alcohol Dependence or Abuse 7.06%
Alcohol or Illict Dependence or Abuse 1 8.71%
Needing but not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug Use 1, 3 2.63%
Needing but not Receiving Treatment for Alcohol Use 3 6.80%
1 – Illicit Drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-like psychotherapeutics that are used non-medically. Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana include cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-like psychotherapeutics that are used non-medically

2 – Binge alcohol is defined as drinking five or more drinks in the same setting on at least one day in the past 30 days

3 – Needing But Not Receiving Treatment refers to the respondents needing treatment for illicit drug or alcohol use but not seeking specific treatment at a facility

4 – Major Depressive Episode is defined as having a period of at least 2 weeks where a person experienced a depressed state of mind or loss of interest in daily activities. They also have the symptoms listed in the DSM-IV

Source: National Survey on Drug Use & Health, 2004 and 2005, SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies

Serious Psychological Distress 12.08%

Why Georgia Residents Should Seek Treatment in Arizona

Sometimes, the best decision you can make is your quest to become sober is to remove yourself from your current environment. This fresh start signals to your mind, body and spirit that it’s time to change and shows those around you that you’re serious about getting clean. Georgia residents enjoy the warm Arizona weather, the bright sunny skies and varied landscape, similar to their own state. Yet the distraction-free environment that our communities offer is truly conducive to a full recovery.