addiction

Dave Collins / AP

Fatal drug overdoses in Cobb County dropped year over year according to new data, but  officials aren’t comfortable calling the drop a trend. 

According to the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s annual report, 2018 drug deaths dropped by nearly a quarter from 2017. Opioid related fatalities dropped by more than half. But overdose deaths were almost twice as common as deaths from car crashes.


Georgia Council on Substance Abuse

Billboards, telling stories of recovery from addiction, are now live across the state. The campaign was announced earlier this month by Georgia Recovers.

The money for the billboard campaign comes from Congress’s response to the opioid crisis, and the funds were distributed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Georgia Council on Substance Abuse Executive Director Neil Campbell said.

Jessica Gurell / GPB

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 200,000 opioid-related deaths in the United States over the last two decades. Georgia has some of the nation's hardest-hit counties. White users have largely been the face of the epidemic, but the problem affects every demographic.


Gov. Brian Kemp and his wife Marty Kemp greet President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump as they arrive at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to attend the "Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit," Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in Atlanta.
Evan Vucci / AP

Speaking at the National Rx Drug and Heroin Abuse Summit in Atlanta, President Donald Trump told attendees that his support for faith-based initiatives was critical for the effort to combat the opioid crisis. 


Wikimedia Commons

E-cigarettes hit the market not too long ago as an aid to quit smoking. The CDC reported in 2015 that more than 9 million American adults vape regularly. Juuls are the new trendy e-cigarette that have become very popular among teens. It's an USB size e-cigarette that uses "pods" for the source of nicotine. College and high school campuses are having issues with the amount of teenagers who are taking on this new nicotine fad.

 

 


Jessica Gurell / GPB

Dr. James Black wants opiate drug seekers to know not to look in his emergency room.

“You know, we're not going to be easy prey, so to speak, for people with repeated usage,” Black said. Black is the director of emergency medicine at the Phobe Putney Medical Center in Albany.

In the context of national trends, Southwest Georgia doesn’t have it as bad as other places. Opiate use is in decline here, but Black said he has seen his fair share of overdoses.

When young people struggle through addiction or substance abuse, there's also the question of school. Getting behind academically can be detrimental to learning and future success, but traditional school can be tough for kids whose peer groups use drugs or alcohol and where treatment resources can be limited.

Could smartphones and other screens be decreasing the human attention span? Author Adam Alter thinks so.

"Ten years ago, before the iPad and iPhone were mainstream, the average person had an attention span of about 12 seconds," Alter tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. Now, he says, "research suggests that there's been a drop from 12 to eight seconds ... shorter than the attention of the average goldfish, which is nine seconds."