Atlanta, Georgia’s Heroin Triangle Desperately Needs Treatment
As the country’s opioid epidemic continues raging, Atlanta communities suffer from a worsening heroin crisis. The suburbs north of Atlanta are known as the Heroin Triangle. Contrary to stereotypical beliefs about heroin “addicts,” this area primarily consists of upper-class Jewish neighborhoods. Moreover, it has the highest number of fatal heroin overdoses in the entire country.
According to data from the National Drug Early Warning System, heroin use and opioid overdoses have continued to increase since 2013. In 2015, Georgia had 1,307 documented drug overdose deaths due to opioids. Although more recent data is unavailable, that number is likely much higher for 2017.
Intervention in Atlanta
In January of this year, the popular television series, “Intervention” started its nine-episode series in Atlanta’s heroin triangle. The first episode featured the district attorney, Vic Reynolds, in Cobb County to highlight the seriousness of the issue. He reported hoping that the documentary will spread awareness and show some of their approaches to tackling this deadly problem.
The National RX Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit was held in Atlanta this past week. This annual meeting includes counselors, doctors, government officials, and treatment centers. Topics discussed at the summit included overdose prevention, pain management, and opioid use disorder treatments. Speakers such as Kellyanne Conway discussed the stigma surrounding opioid addiction and how the president plans to tackle the crisis.
Gray Death Looming Over Atlanta
Fentanyl has killed thousands throughout the country. Meanwhile, “Gray Death” is an even more potent combination of synthetic fentanyl derivatives. Over the past year, this concrete looking mixture killed at least 22 Atlanta residents. Additionally, carfentanil is an elephant tranquilizer often found in the deadly powder. The drug is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times stronger than fentanyl.
One of the reasons heroin is so deadly is because it often contains these lethal fentanyl drugs. Secondly, IV users are at greater risk of overdose than those who snort or smoke heroin. When a person injects drugs, they are absorbing the entire amount of whatever is in that syringe. Therefore, they don’t waste any of the drug and if the heroin contains fentanyl or carfentanil, overdose is imminent.
Is Stigma Making Atlanta’s Heroin Epidemic Worse?
There doesn’t seem to be a simple reason why the heroin triangle exists in the Atlanta suburbs. Obviously, the mass overprescribing of pain medication started the epidemic. We also know that many users switch to heroin because it’s less expensive than pills and they get a stronger, shorter high. So maybe users just aren’t seeking treatment or they don’t have access to the right treatment.
Our society still views heroin users as “addicts” and “low life’s.” In upper-class communities, there is often pressure to present one’s self in a positive light, so as not to reflect badly on the family. Therefore, many heroin users may not ask for help for fear of stigma or rejection from their families. Maybe they just don’t want to have to attend rehab or NA meetings and be labeled as a forever “addict.”
Atlanta Georgia Drug Detox and Rehabs
There are a number of rehab centers and 12-step based programs in Atlanta. Most rehab centers focus on the addiction aspect, however, they must first address opioid dependence. The physical withdrawal is usually the main reason users relapse. This is because they cannot tolerate the days of withdrawal symptoms from heroin or other opioids. The body’s physical dependence is a medical issue because opioids can change the functioning of all major organs. Therefore, when clients do not have access to proper medical detox support, they likely fail at detoxing.
It’s also important to recognize that most inpatient rehabs are not medical facilities. With the introduction of synthetic opioids like gray death, the withdrawal can be more dangerous and symptoms may be atypical. That is why Atlanta residents need access to medical detox options before they can address the addiction.
Rapid Opioid Detox and Medical Detox
Atlanta residents seeking safe and successful rapid detox have been coming to The Waismann Method® in Southern California for 20 years. Those desiring the most comfortable detox possible, where the staff treats them with dignity and respect, seek out our world-renowned treatment. Our highly experienced medical director admits all patients to a full service, accredited hospital where he can monitor them and provide the medical support that other facilities can’t.
The medical director customizes all treatment plans according to the needs of the patient. This means there are no pre-determined limits on the time needed for proper recovery. With that said, most patients complete detox and the post-detox stay at our private recovery center in a total of 7 to 10 days.
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