Opioid addiction has become a major crisis in the United States. In 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services declared a “public health emergency” as opioid-related overdoses continued to rise across the country. Opioids include prescription drugs commonly prescribed for chronic pain (e.g. oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, morphine, codeine and fentanyl) recovery from pain after surgical procedures and pain associated with conditions like cancer. The illegal street drug heroin is also an opioid.
In 2002, there were approximately 10,000 opioid involved overdose deaths in the United States. In 2017, that number starkly increased to 49,068 opioid related overdose deaths across the country. As the national rates increase, Cobb County is now ranked as the second leading county in Georgia in opioid overdose deaths. Attention is needed in our community, however, our state and federal lawmakers are working hard to combat this issue. State and federal dollars have been awarded to communities across the country, including Cobb County, to provide support and services for recovery and prevention efforts.
Unfortunately this is not a fight that our lawmakers can fight alone, this takes a community effort to ensure that we are doing our part as community stakeholders to mitigate the damage that this epidemic is causing in our community. Cobb Community Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse, Inc. (CCAPSA, Inc.) is the only organization in Cobb County devoted solely to the prevention of substance abuse/misuse. CCAPSA, Inc. is currently working hard to reduce substance misuse among youth through state and federally funded community based coalitions in the Marietta and Kennesaw communities.