“One out of every 13 Georgia residents is under some form of correctional control. It cost about $3 million per day to operate our Department of Corrections. And yet, every day criminals continue to inflict violence on our citizens and an alarming number of perpetrators are juveniles. For violent and repeat offenders, we will make you pay for your crimes. For other offenders who want to change their lives, we will provide the opportunity to do so with Day Reporting Centers, Drug, DUI and Mental Health Courts and expanded probation and treatment options. As a State, we cannot afford to have so many of our citizens waste their lives because of addictions. It is draining our State Treasury and depleting our workforce…”
-From Governor Nathan Deal’s Inaugural Address
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disorder; and a compulsive behavior that continues in spite of the consequences.
More than 37,000 Americans died in 2009 as a result of drug overdoses and brain damage linked to long-term drug abuse. Only 36,000 died in traffic accidents that same year.
As a society, we prescribe medications for more conditions than ever. Many new drugs have been introduced to treat pain and depression. Their potency paves the way to addiction. The availability of these drugs, misperceptions about their safety, and our growing inclination to take a pill for every ill only serve to increase the risk.
Congregations, civic clubs, schools, local law enforcement, businesses, concerned citizens and engaged physicians can all play a role. Our toolkit for local coalitions includes education materials, communication templates, and a wealth or resources to assist communities in establishing a local effort.