The state of Georgia has a population of over 9 million people and is found on the I-95 corridor in between New York City and Miami. The state of Georgia is a smuggling corridor as well as a final destination for drug shipments on the east coast which has caused a spike in Georgia drug rehab programs. Cocaine, Meth, heroin, and marijuana are introduced into Georgia by the Mexico and the United States Border.
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The increasing growth of the Hispanic population has grown in Georgia making this state have Mexican immigrant communities with a growing number of traffickers being Mexican. The Mexican traffickers in Georgia can supply large quantities of cocaine directly to the local dealers. Playing a big part in the illegal drugs trade the Mexican DTO’s and Mexican traffickers continue in Georgia. Georgia’s readily available drug is Marijuana. It is the most common and has had the largest reports on marijuana growth sites. US Forest Services have netted thousands of marijuana plants from outdoor locations in the eastern part of Georgia.
Having the most impact on Georgia is crack cocaine. DEA reports that cocaine organizations are having difficulty receiving cocaine from Mexican and Latin suppliers. Large quantities of cocaine are transported into Georgia from the Borders. The cocaine is turned into crack by local suppliers. Club Drugs such as ecstasy are popular and very much available to the younger population. Throughout the state of Georgia, you can find this at college campuses, gyms or just any place that is associated with a hangout spot. LSD is coming to Georgia from the West Coast through the postal service or express mail. The cost for ecstasy can range from $2 to $16 per pill and can be sold anywhere between $8 and $25.
Introduction To Georgia’s Drug Problem
Every state in America has its own individual problems with drugs. These unfortunate circumstances almost always have a very strong negative impact on the culture of the state itself. Georgia, with its increasing problems with many different drugs, is certainly no exception to this. According to a 2013 release from whitehouse.gov (the official website of the White House), Georgia is currently ranked as having the 36th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States. This statistic is very likely to continue into the future as similar past studies have consistently shown an increase in Georgia’s drug use over the past few years. It can also be derived from this that drug users in the state of Georgia have a tendency to much more risky drug-related behavior, as the overall amount of drug users in Georgia is much lower than the current national average.
Methamphetamine (also known as crystal meth, crank, speed, etc.) is an ever increasing threat to the well being of Georgia. To illustrate just how rapidly meth is spreading around the state, the number of meth lab seizures increased by 91% from 2007 to 2009. This drug is particularly spreading in the northern and central regions of the state, particularly around Atlanta and Macon. Law enforcement agencies are becoming much more anxious about the damage that could be done by this highly addictive, cheap, and easily manufactured stimulant.
The effects of methamphetamine are notorious for making users feel paranoid and violent as a part of the psychosis that begins to take place from prolonged use of the drug. This, combined with the very addictive properties of the drug, greatly increases the amount of violent crime in the area. Many rural areas that become plagued by methamphetamine see an incredibly rapid increase in the amount of robberies, burglaries, and thefts that occur. Due the violent nature of methamphetamine, those involved with this drug are much more likely to be the victim or perpetrator of drug related homicide.
Meth also has the highest rates of relapse for addicts. As much as 90% of meth addicts will return to treatment after their first detox. This is alarming as addictive properties this strong can cause chaos in society, especially when that substance can be manufactured by almost anyone. While cooking methamphetamine is definitely a dangerous process, it is relatively simple. The processes for manufacturing meth can be found through many blacklisted websites or simple word of mouth. What makes this even more difficult of a problem for law enforcement is that all the chemicals required to manufacture meth can be bought in over the counter by anyone. This creates quite a difficult situation for Georgia law enforcement agencies to solve and without a doubt suggests that meth is here to stay, at least in the foreseeable future.
Georgia has always had a llong-standing conflict with cocaine. In 2005, cocaine was responsible for almost twice as many drug treatment center admissions that any other single drug. This does, however, includes the smoked freebase form of cocaine, better known as crack. Cocaine is such a major problem in Georgia that the only drug that has had a more devastating effect on the state is methamphetamine.
Cocaine, like methamphetamine, is an unbelievably addictive substance. Tolerance to the drug is developed rapidly and causes the user to consume more and more cocaine to reach the same high that they got the first time they tried it. Within a matter of a few months, it is entirely possible and all too common to transition from a functioning member of society to a homeless drug addict in need of treatment.
The most common form of cocaine used by the citizens of Georgia is crack. Crack is much more addictive than its non-smoked counterpart. This is due to the face that the high from the drug hits the user much faster than snorting cocaine, and the high itself only lasts for a few minutes. After the high wears off the user feels depressed and begins the search for how they will get their next fix. The high street price of crack cocaine and the shortness of the high often results in the complete financial destruction of the user. All available financial funds quickly turn into ways to get more crack, and within a very short time frame the user can find them completely drained of all their resources. This results in a much higher level of poverty and homelessness in areas that are oversaturated with crack users, as it is nearly impossible to function in society with an addiction of that nature and expense chaining you down.
The effect cocaine has on society is slightly different than meth. While both are very dangerous drugs that are often found around equally dangerous people, cocaine seems to cause slightly less violence in its users. Addicts of cocaine or crack tend to supply their habit with more theft as opposed to violent robberies and muggings. This certainly isn’t a good thing as massive outbursts of theft can seriously damage the local economy. Many businesses shut down in poverty stricken areas due to the severe lack of business and frequent robberies. This perpetuates the brutal cycle of poverty and further increases the difficulty of removing yourself from the sad situation of the hard drug scene.
Cocaine is also a drug that is much more commonly found in urban areas and particularly the poorer communities within them. Areas that are plagued with cocaine just about always involve a significantly higher crime and unemployment rate. This is due to the extreme difficulty of operating in the mainstream society with a cocaine addiction. Cocaine rapidly becomes the addict’s sole purpose in life, and all resources and energy are used to fuel their addiction. While it is certainly unfair to label all of those within these communities as somehow connected with cocaine, everyone is indirectly affected in one way or another when such a large amount of the population is only taking away from society.
Georgia’s relationship with marijuana is one that is very interesting, especially with recent developments in the state. Recently, Georgia has joined the rank of medical states by passing a bill that allows for the prescribed use of a marijuana derivative. This new medication is called CBD (cannabidiol), a non-psychoactive chemical found in the marijuana plant that can now be prescribed by physicians for serious disorders such as those suffering from multiple seizures a day.
This does not, however, include cannabis, the form of marijuana we are most familiar with. While Georgia may not have unusually high rates of other drugs compared to the rest of the United States, its marijuana use is immense. Only six states have more marijuana related arrests than Georgia, which is highly unusual for most states with similar rates of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine use.
Noticeable negative effects of marijuana on society are almost non-existent compared to dangers and harm of almost every other illicit drug. Marijuana has not been proven to cause violent behavior by itself, and there is also little correlation between marijuana use and the commission of violent crimes. However, many users of more dangerous drugs often smoke marijuana as well, which blurs the lines between what is caused by marijuana and what is not.
Marijuana use in Georgia also shows little preference to any specific demographic or region. The use of marijuana is so widespread that marijuana related arrests account for nearly 54% of all the drug arrests made in Georgia combined.
Throughout the entire United States, prescription drugs are the fastest growing drug problem of all. These drugs are often more powerful than their street drug relatives and are sanctioned by the government for specific treatments as directed by a physician. But a large portion of these pills wind up in the black market to support the ever increasing demand for FDA approved highs.
Many people have the same common misconception that prescription drugs are safer simply because they are prescribed by a doctor. This thought process is largely responsible for what the Office of National Drug Control Policy is calling an “epidemic” of drug abuse. Georgia is certainly not exempt from this epidemic of drug use. In Georgia alone, the use of prescription drugs increased by ninety-seven percent from 2004 to 2008. This is cause for serious alarm by Georgia law enforcement agencies, and rightfully so.
The difficulty of prosecuting those selling prescription drugs lies in the fact that it is originally obtained through entirely legal methods. Many of these pill dealers either fake a disorder to a doctor or have a doctor they know is corrupt to write them a prescription. Once the prescription is obtained, they can then go to a pharmacy to legally obtain their drugs, often for just pennies a pill if it is covered by health insurance. This makes the potential profit for drug dealers irresistible and expands the market even further than it currently has. The other main contribution to the prescription drug problem in Georgia is that the only illegal part of the prescription pill trade is during the transaction itself. This provides a very limited opportunity for law enforcement to adequately stop the flow of these drugs as there is only a single window of opportunity for justice to be served.
Like marijuana, prescription pills affect all walks of life. Their ease of availability and guaranteed content makes them the drug of choice for many seeking a stronger high. Some prescription opiates much more powerful than other illicit drug that could be found on the street, such as Diluadid (hydromorphine) which is five times stronger than heroin and always 100% pure. There are very few neighborhoods within the state that are completely unaffected by prescription drug use. These widely available lab quality drugs show no discrimination in which they enslave with addiction.
Luckily, heroin is one of the drugs that have been waning from the popular drug scene in recent years. The decline in the use of heroin is most likely the result of the influx in popularity of prescription pain killers, which certainly is not a safe alternative. But even with this, heroin still has a significant impact on Georgia’s illegal drug problem.
Heroin is a very powerful painkiller that is most commonly found in one of two forms; powder and black tar. The powder version of heroin provides users with the option to either snort or intravenously inject the drug, while injection is the only option of administrating black tar heroin. Many users of this drug eventually turn to injections due to the increased potency and the fact that the effects are felt almost instantly.
In 2005, there were nearly one thousand admissions for heroin treatment in Georgia. While this may not seem all that significant compared to the twelve thousand admissions for cocaine, the disastrous effects of this deadly drug can be felt throughout the state. This is especially true in less wealthy parts of the state as heroin is seen as a cheap and viable alternative to popular narcotic painkillers which can be several times more expensive for an equivalent dose.
Heroin also poses a much more serious risk of overdose than either cocaine, meth, or prescription drugs. Much of this issue comes from the overpowering sedation brought on by the drug, and the purity which is often uncertain and widely varied. Once an overdose is reached, the victim is unable to move and call help for themselves by the time to realize they took too much. Georgia is also one of the handful of states that does not offer immunity for prosecution if you are searching for help for yourself or another after the overdose of an illegal drug. This makes many people much more hesitant to call an ambulance for help, which ultimately results in a large increase of drug related deaths in the state.
The young people of Georgia have chosen to move away from heroin recently. Heroin use among people under 25 has dropped by upwards of 50$ since 2005. This may seem like an absolute blessing to those who have seen the destructive powers of heroin in their own lives, but a new type of drug has gained their attention; Club drugs.
Club drugs have created a epidemic of serious health problems in Georgia. These drugs, which are largely synthetic, have the false presumption that they are non-addictive and a less harmful alternative to harder drugs such as heroin. However, this could not be further from the truth. These drugs such as MDMA and GHB have incredible risk of overdose associated with them that results in the death of the victim more often than not.
The 1990’s were an especially chaotic period of club drug use in Georgia. The previous era of young people searched for more mellow and psychedelic drugs while the newer generation transformed into wanting excitement and adventure out of the drugs they used. This paradigm shift in mindset of most young drug users caused the use of ecstasy (also known as E, X, beans, etc.) to skyrocket. The result of this was an astonishing 400% increase in the number of hospital visits that were related from the abuse of club drugs.
Club drug’s popularity has certainly permeated our society today. Many popular songs made by well known hip hop and pop artists reference the use of molly in their songs and give young people the false presumption that it is not harmful. Molly, which is a pure form of MDMA, has surged as a result of this. This drug causes users to experience a burst of long lasting energy and euphoria along with minor hallucinations. Users typically engage in physically straining activities such as dancing while under the influence of molly, which causes them to sweat. This produces a massive amount of fluid loss for the user during the high, and death becomes a very real threat if they fail to remain properly hydrated. The extreme risk of death from overdose or misuse is something that is commonly mistaken and absolutely not something that is told by the dealer to the user.
Overall, Georgia is certainly not a state that can consider itself exempt from the extreme rates of nationwide drug use. The drug use of Georgia residents is something that appears to show no sign of slowing down, especially with the essential drug trafficking hub Atlanta as its capital. The massive flow of drugs into and out of Georgia on both a domestic and international level definitely proves to trickle down to the personal users of these substances. Law enforcement agencies in Georgia will continue to do their best job to fight the drug war as they have done in the past, and hope that one day it will come to a much awaited conclusion. Until then, the plague of drugs upon the state of Georgia will continue and we can only hope to steer our children away from them.
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