Statewide Opioid Task Force

Keith Srakocic / AP

Susan Barge wants more outrage.

The co-founder of Navigate Recovery Gwinnett wonders why people aren't paying attention to an epidemic that continues to take around 70,000 lives a year: opioids.

CDC

This week the federal government said it's encouraged by a decline in overdose deaths from opioids. But, while the Georgia Department of Public Health and other state leaders said they are encouraged by the drop in deaths, they are not ready to call the decline a trend as Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar did.

“We are cautiously optimistic; however, it is too soon to know definitively if these decreases will continue over time,” DPH spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said.