According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, new data shows that Georgia’s drug overdoses may be increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The weekly number of drug overdose syndrome cases resulting in emergency department visits has increased by 3 percent in the past nine weeks, data indicates. Overdoses involving opioids have risen 5.9 percent over the past 11 weeks, and overdoses involving heroin have risen 6.4 percent. For fentanyl-related overdose deaths, preliminary findings showed a 17 percent increase when comparing emergency department visits during December 2019-April 2020, with those of July 2019 to November 2019.
The report also noted that during those periods, the state saw some of the highest overdose deaths that had been reported in the past year.
“The opioid crisis has been a top priority for our office since 2016,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “Now, preliminary data suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic could be causing an increase in drug overdoses statewide. We must stop this trend in its tracks, so we encourage all Georgians to visit our website, DoseofRealityGa.org, where we have educational resources and outlets for those who are suffering from opioid addiction, those in long term recovery and those who love, support and worry about them each day.
The Attorney General’s office said it would continue to pursue legal solutions to the opioid crisis.
“Simultaneously, our legal team is continuing our case to hold accountable manufacturers and distributors who may have had a hand in fueling the opioid crisis,” Carr said. “As we’ve said before, we will leave no stone unturned, and we will not let Georgians down.”