Newly-released federal data shows pharmaceutical companies delivered about 2.3 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills to Georgia pharmacies from 2007-2012. The number of pain killing medications prescribed in Northwest Georgia has continued to rise over the past five years, according to the Center For Disease Control in Atlanta.
The latest data shows that Chattooga County and Floyd County have ranked higher than other surrounding counties in Northwest Georgia for the prescription of opioids. The rate in Floyd County is 133.8 prescriptions for every 100 people. In Chattooga County it is 119.8 prescriptions for every 100 people. That compares to 46.8 prescriptions for opioids for every 100 persons in Walker County and 61.4 for every 100 persons in Dade County.
According to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, opioids are a prime contributor to our nation’s addiction and overdose crisis. In 2015, nearly two-thirds of drug overdoses were linked to opioids like Percocet, OxyContin, heroin and fentanyl. In fact, Americans consume more opioids than any other country in the world. The staggering amount of opioids prescribed in the U.S. is enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks.