Drug overdoses kill more than guns, cars,
and falling accidents! According to recent studies published by the CDC, the
number of deaths due to drug overdose has increased 23% between the years
2010 and 2014, with close to 47,000 Americans succumbing to
drugs in 2014.
Addictive drugs are dangerous, no doubt.
But, some of these drugs are more poisonous than others. As per findings, the 3
most dangerous drugs with respect to overdose mortality in the year 2014 were,
heroin – caused 23% of overdose
followed by cocaine – 12.4%, and oxycodone – 11.5%.
Fentanyl caused 8.9% of overdose deaths
and doubled in just a year, rising from about 1,905 deaths in the year 2013 to
a whopping 4,200 deaths in the year 2014.
Smyrna has not escaped these scary but real statistics. Each year, more and
more teens and young adults fall prey to drug abuse and jeopardize their own
Possession Laws in Georgia
Drug related crimes are aggressively
prosecuted in the state of Georgia. The sentence can range from misdemeanors to
being charged with a felony, depending on the kind of drug, the way it was
packaged and the quantity of drug in possession.
In certain cases, though the weight of the
seized drug such as marijuana may be less than an ounce, which typically
constitutes just a misdemeanor charge, the prosecutor has the liberty to charge
the person with a felony, if it was packaged in more than one packet. This is
due the fact that the prosecutor will put forth to the court, the presumption
that the drug was packed in more than one baggie as the defendant may have had
the intention to distribute the drugs.
Though this can be an unfair presumption in
many cases, possession of drugs with the intent to distribute is considered a
trafficking which is a felony offense. Depending on several factors, these
charges can lead to a sentencing of anything between one and 15 years on a
first offense. Subsequent offenses can yield to more time behind the bars.
and Schedules of Illegal Drugs
In Georgia, you can be pronounced guilty
of drug possession even if the drugs are not found in your personage. You could
be charged with possession if the drugs are recovered from your home, car, dorm
room, if the prosecutor can prove they were in your control.
The penalty for the possession of illegal
drugs in Smyrna, Georgia depends on the kind of drug and the amount found
during a raid or arrest. These drugs are categorized by schedules as per the
Georgia Drug Code.
SCHEDULE I – Drugs such as LSD, Ecstasy,
Heroin, or GHB. These schedule I drugs do not have any
legal medical usage and are considered as highly addictive drugs.
SCHEDULE II –Methamphetamine, opium,
cocaine, crack cocaine, methadone, or morphine.
SCHEDULE III – Steroid such as Ketamine or
SCHEDULE, IV & V – These include most
prescription drugs and are considered illegal when individuals consume them
without a doctor’s prescription.
Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Collaborative
A non-profit agency – TCAD – The Council
on Alcohol and Drugs that focuses on the prevention of substance abuse, heads
Georgia Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Collaborative that aims to prevent
as well as reduce drug abuse in Smyrna and other states in Georgia.
This council has taken the onus of
educating the masses, monitoring drug abuse, facilitating proper medication
disposal and enforcing stringent drug abuse laws. The outcomes of the quarterly
meets of this collaborative, has been promising and their work has seen significant
The treatment for an alcohol or drug abuse
problem begins with an addiction assessment. This assessment is performed to
determine the extent of the addiction and whether the patient has co-occurring
conditions and also to slot a proper treatment plan.
There are several professionals in Smyrna,
who are trained to diagnose addictions by conducting drug abuse and alcohol
assessments in private settings. All the information that you share with these
professionals is kept strictly confidential and is used only to aid in your
If you or somebody you know is exhibiting
addictive behaviors in Smyrna and is seeking help, you can begin with getting
an addiction assessment. Doctors, nurses, psychologists, counselors, social
workers, and even therapists are trained to assess people for addictions. In
most cases, multiple people take part in the evaluation, especially if you have
checked into an addiction treatment facility.
This ensures that you get the right
diagnosis as well as the best treatment for your addiction problem. These
assessments include physical examinations, questionnaires, self-assessment, and
in some cases a blood work too.
The assessment is quite straight forward
and simple. The doctor will ask you to answer a simple and standardized
questionnaire that will contain questions about your drug abuse, health
history, behaviors, symptoms, effects of the addiction on your life, and
treatment history if you have had any before.
You will also have a face to face
interview with the clinician who will ask you standard open-ended questions
that will give them the information needed to make a proper diagnosis and chart
a treatment plan to help you with your addiction. A number of screening tools
such as the AUDIT-C, CAGE assessment, and the NIDA- National Institute on Drug
Use Screening Tool, may be used during the assessment. The CAGE assessment is
commonly used and will have questions on specific areas which are:
Cutting down on the addiction: Have you ever
thought it is time you cut down on your addiction?
Annoyance over people criticizing your
drug abuse or drinking addiction: Do you get annoyed when you are
criticized for your addiction?
Guilty feelings: Do you feel guilty about your addiction?
Eye-openers: Do you have an
urge to drink or use drugs immediately in the morning?
If your answer to any two of the four
questions is a YES, you will be put through further assessment.
If a doctor conducts your assessment, you
may also have to undergo a physical examination wherein you will be checked for
physical symptoms of the addiction. You may also be diagnosed and treated for
other co-occurring health conditions along with your addiction.
If you undertake an assessment under a
psychologist, counselor, or social workers, or any other non-medical person,
you may be referred to a doctor to undergo a physical evaluation as
co-occurring health conditions can have a negative impact on your
Your urine sample will be tested to assess
the type of drugs that you have consumed. In some cases, blood samples may be
asked if the doctor believes that your addiction has adversely affected your
health. For instance, you may be asked to give a blood test to assess your
liver function if you have had a problem with alcohol.
The doctor will put together the
information obtained through the questionnaire, physical examination,
interview, urine and blood tests, and his own clinical judgment to arrive at a
diagnosis. Objective criteria that are listed in the DSM-5 – Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also may be used in order to arrive at
the right diagnosis.
Before being admitted to any drug
treatment or rehabilitation program in Smyrna there are a few steps you have to
go through – one of which is the pre-intake process. This entails filling up a
will also be handed out a slip that lists out the necessary documents and items
that you will need through your program. Your eligibility as well as readiness
for medication assisted treatment for drug abuse will also be assessed as a
part of the pre-intake.
During the intake process, trained
professionals will ask your several questions, to get a better insight on your
lifestyle, background, addiction and seriousness towards the treatment. Some of these questions may be:
did you first begin using drugs?
drugs have you used? And, how much of it do you use?
has drug use affected your life?
you take any medications to treat the addiction?
is your financial standing?
is your family life?
you attended an addiction treatment before?
Finding the right center to enroll for
detox can be quite daunting, especially if you are trying to help a teen or
young adult to get sober. Teenagers in specific have different treatment needs
and early detection of the addiction as well as treatment is quintessential in
It is not uncommon for teens to want to
try out drugs and alcohol. And it is this experimentation that leads them to
using substances that leads to severe addiction and health ailments.
Thankfully, there are several treatment centers in Smyrna that can help young
adults recover fully from an addiction.
These detox facilities provide residents
combatting an addiction, a safe, low-external-environment-stress setting that
is medically supervised to help teens as well as adults come off of alcohol or
drugs. Though a difficult step – it is the first step towards recovery.
There are multiple treatment options
available to those trying to beat an addiction. Most rehab centers in Smyrna
offer Residential treatment – RTC, Intensive Outpatient Program – IOP, and
Partial Hospitalization – PHP. The level of care that a person will need
depends upon the substance they use, the frequency of use, dependency on the
drug, as well as the effects the drug may have caused on their mental and
For example, a person who has been
drinking for several years and cannot stop drinking despite support at home,
may need residential treatment. Such a person may need medical supervision and
help to safely titrate off alcohol or the drug they are dependent upon.
Those who have a stronger will to quit and
are using drugs to enjoy a sense of euphoria may benefit from an outpatient
treatment program. Some cases may require partial hospitalization to treat
co-occurring health conditions and to help them cope with withdrawal symptoms
in a safe environment with adequate nursing care.
Outpatient addiction treatment programs
typically take place in a clinic or rehab home, where therapeutic and
educational group meetings are held every day. In most cases, addicts who
complete an inpatient treatment are suggested to enroll for outpatient
treatment five days a week and then gradually step down to 2-3 days a week as
Addicts are allowed to stay at home while
attending their outpatient program, and many are encouraged to go back to
school and even work part time.
If you are struggling with an addiction,
you will relate to the urge to get back to drugs or alcohol every time you try
to abstain from it. Addiction is indeed chronic and recovery from a severe
addiction requires a long term commitment towards being sober in order to avoid
relapse. After care is therefore a vital part of addiction treatment and lasts
much longer than the rehab program in itself.
Your doctor will put you through a
carefully curated after care regimen that can help in providing a coordinated
network of support in order to help you in maintaining as well as building upon
on the progress, you achieved in your first phases of treatment.
It may take a bit of research to find the
right after care center that meets your needs. Most rehabs offers personalized
aftercare services which include alumni of the center encouraging current
residents through their own stories.
Aftercare programs use group sessions to
help addicts recover. These programs focus on relapse prevention, improving
relationship skills as well as job skills. They help in repairing any
relationships that may have been afflicted through the course of an addiction.
Most aftercare programs in Smyrna, also
require the involvement of family members and urge them to support addicts
through their recovery phase. While these aftercare programs greatly improve
your odds of staying clean and living a better life, it also sees a large
percentage of dropouts. The dropout rate stands around 50% and this is why
centers in Smyrna help increase retention by offering transportation services,
and ongoing counselor support throughout the program.
You can find yourself or a loved one a
high-quality after program via a detailed Internet search, sifting through
accreditation sites, and also word of mouth.
It is important that you check if the
program is accredited by bodies such as the COA- Council on Accreditation, the
Joint Commission, and the CARF – Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation
Facilities. Also, be sure to inquire about the number of licensed professionals
and their experience and certifications before enrollment. Do not hesitate to
ask a lot of questions and simply walk away if anything seems shady.
Sober living houses can be instrumental in
helping people with addictions. These houses are living environments for those
who wish to cut down their alcohol and drug addiction. It can be very hard for
patients to maintain abstinence without help and a stable drug free environment
post treatment. Sober homes have been introduced to help addicts recovering
from an addiction during their first few months of being sober.
While it is not necessary that someone who
has just completed must live in a sober home, it can help greatly in helping
them from falling prey to the urge to return to their addiction. These homes
are also a great alternative to those who may not wish to go in for a formal
treatment or rehab program.
Most sober living houses in Smyrna are
more than just a transitional living abode. These homes follow sound recovery
methodologies as well as 12-step programs that are tailored to help addicts
stay sober. Many of these homes in Smyrna are also monitored and certified by
the Sober Living Coalition – a body that sets high standards for cleanliness,
safety, ethics, and management practices.
Residents of sober homes are encouraged to
take up random drug tests apart from participating in 12 step meetings and also
demonstrating the steps that they are taking to achieve long term sobriety.
Newer models of sober living homes offer
several customized and individualized recovery plans that help residents in
becoming self-supportive through peer support and self-involvement for
Residents are also encouraged to work or
lookout for work and some of them even qualify for government assistance that
can be used to pay the fees. Residents are allowed to stay in these houses as
long as they think is necessary to help get over their addiction and become
sober as long as they fulfil the financial obligations as well as follow house
of Sober Living Residents
Sober living house rules tend to vary
slightly from one house to another, but standard rules often include the
only in designated smoking areas
of program fees on time
stealing from the house
not destroy any property
not engage in sex with other residents
abstain from violent behavior
be actively involved in community service and self-directed recovery activities
Some of the sober living houses exercise
zero tolerance policy regarding the rules listed above. Residents may be
evicted if they violate the rules of the house. Some other sober living houses
in Smyrna are slightly more lenient with some rules and a lot stricter with