John’s Creek, GA Rehabs
Johns Creek, GA has seen a daunting increase in Opioid use among it’s resident over the past several years. This suburban area consisting mostly of middle and upper class residents is part of what’s now being called the Heroin Triangle, incorporating Johns Creek and neighboring Atlanta Suburbs such as Sandy Springs, and Alpharetta, making up the northern portion of Fulton County. The DEA has been working tirelessly to combat the trafficking of narcotics in this distribution hub, and the community is stepping in to help.
The main demographic of drug abusers in Johns Creek is teens and young males, age 18-25. While the main drug of choice is marijuana, opioid usage is becoming an epidemic in the John’s Creek area. it is estimated that 2,500 teens use pain killers recreationally, daily. Baby boomers make up second highest concentration of drug users. Cocaine use in baby boomers has reportedly quadrupled in recent years, and Opioid use has doubled. Fulton County, which houses the states capital, Atlanta, and it’s suburbs, has seen a 16 percent increase in opioid deaths over the last year – twice the national average. Opioid deaths account for 68% of overdose deaths in Georgia.
Fulton County is the only county in Georgia with a population of over 1 million residents. Nearly every major highway and interstate in metro-Atlanta pass through Fulton County, as well as Georgia 400 to the north, and Interstate 85 for the south. Fulton County is also home to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport which is the busiest airport in the world. These routes have made Fulton County, Atlanta, and John’s Creek a major hub for drug trafficking via air and land. Due to it’s central location, the Atlanta area has become a main distributor to drug markets throughout the East Coast of the US. Though a decade ago, Mexican Cartels were primarily smuggling cocaine through Fulton County, in recent years, the amount of opioids being brought into the area has reached epidemic proportions.
Prescription drug users are at a high risk of becoming heroin users, as heroin is becoming increasingly easier to access than prescription pills, even in suburban neighborhoods. On top of heroin and prescription pain killers, synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl are quickly rising in popularity, bringing the death toll up with them. Fentanyl is more potent than morphine, and is often used in conjunction with heroin to increase it’s potency. Another synthetic opioid appearing on the scene is Cerfentanil. Even a dose smaller than a grain of sand is enough to be fatal to a human.
Law Makers and Non-profit organizations are teaming together to put an end to the Opioid crisis in Johns Creek and greater Fulton County, becoming the first county in Georgia to join a nationwide lawsuit against Opioid distributors and manufacturers.
If you’re struggling with opioid addiction, you don’t have to fight it all alone. With the help of professional addiction specialists, you can gain the tools to start new and overcome addiction.
John’s Creek, Georgia Drug Laws
While Georgia has severe penalties for drug possession and abuse, there are also safeguards in place for people trying to get help.
The actual penalty for being convicted of drug related crime depends on the drug, amount, and intent to sell or use, as well as number of offenses on your record. Convictions are severe and accompanied with mandatory minimum sentences which are to be served without parole. For example, a felony conviction for possession of marijuana can carry a sentence of a minimum of 1 year jail time and up to 10 years, even if it’s a first offense. The possession of four grams of heroin will land a minimum sentence of 2- 15 years in jail. The penalty for the intent to distribute could come with a mandatory 25 years imprisonment and a hefty fine of $500,000, depending on the amount in possession.
While Georgia does allow very limited use of medical marijuana under House Bill 1 or “Haleigh’s Hope Act”, it is one of the strictest states that has legalized medical marijuana. Patients may only possess cannabis oil with low-THC percentage – no more than 5%, and are limited to 20 ounces. Growing Marijuana and possessing whole plants is illegal. Patients must qualify by receiving certification from a doctor with whom they have an established patient-doctor relationship, and they must suffer from one of eight qualifying conditions, including
Epilepsy or seizure disorders related to traumatic head injuries
Severe or end-stage ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
Severe or end-stage MS
Severe or end-stage Parkinson’s Disease
Severe or end-stage Sickle Cell Disease
In addition to qualifying, the patient must pay a $25 fee. While the oil has been decriminalized for qualifying medical patients, it’s is unclear how they may procure it.
Drug Charges can have lasting negative affects on your life, including difficulties finding employment and housing, as well as challenges in relationships. Seeking help before you run into legal trouble is your best bet at turning addiction around.
Drug Abuse Prevention
While penalties for possession and drug use are severe, there have been many recent efforts in Johns Creek as well as the greater area of Fulton County to educate the public and fight the opioid epidemic. The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities or DBHDD received $11.7 million in its first year which will be spent focusing on education, prevention and recovery. In addition, Fulton County Vice Chairman Robert Ellis recently teamed with The Summit Counseling Center and volunteers from Georgia Overdose Prevention to hold an Opioid Summit in Johns Creek to outline how the opioid epidemic is affecting the area, and measures that are being taken to prevent it from getting worse. In the summit, Ellis announced that donation boxes will be placed throughout Fulton County, to aid in the safe removal of prescription opioids from the community.
Georgia also has implemented a medical amnesty law, or “Good Samaritan Law”, which allows limited legal immunity for people seeking medical assistance for themselves or others experiencing an overdose. The law extends to immunity from arrest, charge and prosecution for the person experiencing the overdose, and the person seeking medical attention in good faith for possession of some drugs, probation and parole violations, possession of paraphernalia, and possession or consumption of alcohol, as long the evidence for the arrest was obtained solely from the medical assistance sought out. The law was passed in an attempt to save lives that might have otherwise been lost as a result of bystanders fearing legal repercussions of illegal activities. The implementation of the Medical Amnesty Law also allows First Responders and those likely to be in a position to respond to opioid overdose victims the ability to administer the lifesaving antidote, Naloxone or NARCAN. Non-profit organization Georgia Overdose Prevention members are working to make sure Naloxone is available to all first responders.
Johns Creek Drug Addiction Treatment
Johns Creek is home to many drug abuse resources, support groups, and rehab centers that can assist you in overcoming addiction.
Drug and Alcohol assessments are the first step in evaluating if a drug or alcohol problem is present, and to what degree. They’re also used as ways to assess what kind of treatment is useful, appropriate, and and available based on individual needs. Drug and alcohol assessments are available at many treatment facilities and can often be helpful in reducing drug-related court sentences. The American Alternative Court Services, or AACS can assist in conduction personalized drug or alcohol assessments and recommending treatment for court related cases. The AACS can be reached at 404-594-1770.
Once you’ve completed an assessment and have gotten a treatment recommendation from a professional, you’ll begin the pre-intake and intake process. This is the time to find the best treatment facility and professionals that fit your personal needs. During the intake process, ask any questions you may have about your treatment plan, the professionals you’ll be working with, and the facility. The staff at the facility may also have some questions, as well as screenings, or tests which will assist them at developing a roadmap for your success. While beginning treatment can be scary and uncomfortable at first, you’ll be more likely to stick to your program if you have a good idea of what to expect during treatment, so make sure to ask clarifying questions and respond to inquiries honestly.
The first step in most treatments is to detox. After abstaining from addictive substances, the body goes through a period of withdrawal. The length of time and severity of withdrawal depends on how long the user has been addicted, how often they used, the type of drug(s) used, the users tolerance to the drug, and the users overall health. Detox can last between several hours up to three weeks, and may include anxiety, depression, hunger, fatigue, discomfort, irritability, and restlessness.
Each drug has its own withdrawal symptoms and general length. For example, it is common for those going through alcohol detox to experience delirium tremens or ‘The DTs’. Symptoms of the DTs include delirium, tremors, hallucinations, irritability and agitation, mood swings, light sensitivity, and fatigue.
Opioids withdrawal, including that of heroin and prescription pain killers can last anywhere from a several hours to a few weeks, and can include intense drug cravings, nausea, restlessness, body aches, insomnia and irritation.
It’s crucial to have a healthcare professional present while detoxing from drugs and alcohol, as it can lead to emergency situations.
There are several different types of Inpatient Treatment Facilities, and it’s up to you and the professionals treating your addiction to determine which type is right for you.
RTC – A Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is a live-in medical program (inpatient) that provides therapeutic treatment for behavioral issues, mental illnesses, and substance abuse. Patients spend most if not all of their time at the facility under close care of professionals until treatment is completed. A Residential Treatment Center is often the approach taken when outpatient programs aren’t working, or more extreme supervision is needed during treatment.
PHP – A Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is a type of treatment that allows the patient to have a structured psychiatric treatment without the constant inpatient supervision of an RTC. The patient typically spends several hours a day, 5 days a week at the facility, but isn’t required to spend the night.
IOP – An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is a type of treatment that, similar to PHP allows the patient to spend some time at the treatment facility – often 3 hours a day, 3 days a week. IOP treatment is often useful after one has completed RTC or PHP treatment.
Outpatient treatment programs offer less restrictions than inpatient, and are an option for those with mild to moderate substance abuse issues or a part of long-term care for those who have already participated in an inpatient treatment. A patient will visit the outpatient facility for several hours a week for group and/or individual therapy.
Once a patient completes their treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient, it is recommended to have an aftercare plan in place. Aftercare programs focus on relapse prevention and support for the patient and their family upon integrating back into the “real world” after treatment.
Sober living homes are homes or community environments available to people recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. Living around others that are also abstaining from harmful lifestyle choices breeds a supportive transitional living environment. Many Sober Living homes incorporate 12-step programs and/or individual recovery plans.
Call us to find an addiction treatment center that meets your needs and start your journey to recovery today.