Albany is located on the Flint River in Southwest Georgia; with surrounding cities of: Dawson, Thomasville, Cario, have a growing awareness of its drug addiction problems. The city is in the county of Dougherty, population close to 100,000 and with a median household income estimated at $35,000, has seen its fair share of Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, amongst other drugs including Opioid misuse. Other areas close by like Atlanta, which is 150 miles away, is showing an increase in Marijuana and Heroin. Albany has had several police busts that have produced millions of dollars worth of the drugs that is one of the increase of drug related crimes.
Poverty, unfortunately, can lead to drug addiction. Addiction can also lead to poverty.
In Albany, Poverty is widespread. In 2016, Albany was listed as having a 39.1% of the people living there below the poverty line in comparison to the rest of the state of Georgia at 20.8%.
Females between the ages of 18-24 were listed as most in poverty.
Albany, also, has its own share of make shift drug houses. People can either go inside the house and buy drugs or drive up curbside to purchase drugs illegally.
In 2017, law enforcement in Albany arrested 16 people associated with a drug house after a police sting of the location was conducted. They had not found any drugs on the premise in regards to pills but did see people driving up curbside trying to buy pills from the house.
Most Commonly Used Drugs
Marijuana is an increasing drug of choice in the whole state of Georgia. Drug trafficking from Mexico makes it readily available.
Teenagers tend to use this drug as a drug of choice.
Cocaine, especially crack cocaine, is a drug that has increased in distribution and in Georgia is most associated with violent crimes.
In 2012, Albany was 569% higher than Georgia in violent crimes.
Albany is also listed out of southern Georgia to have the most aggravated assaults.
Heroin usage is on the rise in age groups 18-25 throughout the state, at least 45% have started because of Opioid addiction in part due to increasing costs of the pain medicine as being a factor.
Ages 18-25 who live in large cities more likely to use.
In 2016, Albany police reported an increase in Heroin use in the metro area.
Opioid overdose is a major factor. In 2015 at least 549 overdoses from these drugs were reported in Georgia alone.
Older adults were found to be more likely to have opioid addiction by going to multiple doctors for prescriptions. However, due to law improvements with prescription reporting, it has decreased.
Narcan Nasal Spray is often used as an emergency solution for opioid overdoses.
Narcan Nasal Spray is in a class of medications called opiate antagonists
A grant by the President Trump administration of $11.7 million dollars was given to Georgia to help fight against heroin and Opioids
Albany drugs usage in the year 2014:
Marijuana use at 11.67%
Cocaine use at 1.68%
Opioids use at 4.59%
Georgia in 2017 drug usage was to be estimated:
Marijuana users at 451,885
Cocaine users at 74,050
Opioids or other prescription drugs users at 197,888
Heroin users at 4,195
In 2017, eight people have died from street drugs believed to be Percocet but proven to be fake yellow pills with a combination of cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700.
Georgia has 10.7 drug overdose deaths for every 100,000 people.
In Albany it is estimated to be about 4 overdose deaths compared to Georgia where there is 12 for the state.
Georgia ranks about 11th for opioid overdoses in the country.
In Georgia in 2010, Rx prescriptions deaths were 560, and illicit drugs 101.
In 2010, the age limits of these drug deaths:
15 or younger: 5
15 – 24: 80
25 – 34: 115
35 – 44: 180
45 – 54: 226
55 – 64: 106
64 or older: 17
Drug Laws in Georgia
The strict drug laws in Georgia define possession as “actual” or “constructive”. The law means specifically that you do not need to have the drug on your person to be charged.
In 2016, a man was arrested for drug trafficking in Albany with possession of 2.5 pounds of marijuana and 29.5 grams of cocaine. In Georgia, possession of more than 1 ounce of Marijuana is considered a felony with jail time up to 10 years and multiple fines and cocaine possession is anywhere from 2-30 years depending on whether it is a first offense or more.
In any conviction of a drug offense, a mandatory suspense of driver’s license is done. Rules fluctuate by jurisdiction, but normally, a person may be eligible for avoiding jail and getting drug treatment instead.
Universities in Albany have strict policies regarding drug and alcohol use.
A drug conviction in the state of Georgia can make you possibly loose student aid. If conviction of the drug offense happened while you were not receiving financial aid, you will still be able to be eligible for aid in the future.
In an example, Albany State University has set up guidelines to different offenses for drug and alcohol abuse and they are also based on usage and whether or not they have committed harm to themselves or others. They have also made available counselors who can help to direct people to facilities or counseling. In these guidelines which are strictly enforced, counseling secessions maybe required for each offense.
Illegal synthetic Opioid or U-47700 and/or furanyl, fentanyl, which can be used the same as heroin and is fifty times more powerful than heroin itself, is disturbed in either powder or tablet form, has increased in usage. In 2017, Georgia legislation was introduced to ban both U-47700 and furanyl ,fentanyl and passed on April 17th, 2017.
Georgia’s Good Samaritan Law
In 2014 legislation was passed, Georgia House Bill 965, that if a person calls 911 seeking medical attention for a victim of a possible drug overdose that neither them or the victim will be prosecuted for small amounts of possessed drugs.
Albany has set up a Drug Unit called The Albany Police Drug Unit. It was formed to stop illegal drugs from coming into the community and surrounding areas, plus dealing with stopping any drug trafficking including the dealers themselves. The drug unit has four different sectors: the City of Albany Police Department, the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office, the Dougherty County Police Department and the Dougherty County District Attorney’s Office. The drug unit is located in downtown Albany.
Many agents now carry Narcan as a way to help people with opioid overdoses.
The Albany Police Drug Unit
700 Pine Ave, Albany, GA 31701
Albany Drug Rehabs and Clinics
Rehab facilities are listed over 200 and some in Georgia and over 180 and some in sober living residential facilities.
Georgia has in the southern states more of a rise in Opioid rehab clinics. Due to this demand for addiction help, clinics do tend to fill up fast as others from different states rush to get the help they need due to wait lists at other facilities where they live.
Drug rehabs and clinics are not as widespread in Albany as in its surrounding cities.
Albany has centers in which detoxing is available. Detoxing is the removal of harmful substances from the body through either medicine or physiological means. The costs depend on type of insurance, the center itself, how long of stay and what type of treatment you need. There are outpatient, inpatient and behavioral therapy options available. However, most centers are outpatient care.
Inpatient treatment can last any amount of time. It can be from 3 days to longer depending on the treatment provided and what you need; such as a hospital or even a private facility. Albany has different types of inpatient facilities for one to go to if needed. However, because of relapses of the drug addict, shorter stays may not be recommended.
Outpatient treatment is sought for a short period of time and is how many times per week it can be required. It can be up to starting from an hour at a clinic to longer depending. Outpatient clinics can be therapy based or a drug therapy based or combination. Rehab facilities and clinics are found in Albany. The difference between Intensive outpatient and regular outpatient is intensive does about 1 hour of treatment roughly 4 times a week.
After care and Sober Living
After care and sober living helps to keep the person addiction free through lifestyle changes, therapy and even drug therapy. A lot of facilities are community based to help the person feel safer in their surroundings. The idea with after care and sober living is to help the addict feel confident in themselves to be able to keep off the addiction.
Meetings are to help addicts get through daily struggles. They can be public where people are sharing their stories or closed where a specific topic is discussed. The meetings are usually a group of people.
Alcohol Anonymous Meetings
304 Pine Ave, Albany, GA 31701