Opiate addiction in Georgia has been the focal point of new legislation addressing treatment, prevention, protection from prosecution, insurance coverage, education, and more. Legislators across the nation are finally striking back against the escalating prescription drug epidemic, which claims more American lives each year than do heroin and cocaine combined.
In the spring of 2013, Randall Brannen was just another 20-year-old, a college student who overdosed at a spring break party. He went into seizures for two hours before he died, watched by fellow party-goers who failed to call 9-1-1 because they feared prosecution.
If you think that never happens, just go back 9 months to the summer of 2012, when a group of opiate addicts injecting heroin in Lawrenceville, Georgia, panicked. One of them, 20-year-old Stephen Cardiges, had slumped into the back seat of the car after using. His two companions called a friend, Zach Boughan, and then drove to Boughan’s home although Boughan urged them not to. When the car arrived, Boughan nevertheless ran out to assist them. A young woman inside Boughan’s home called the police.
While Cardiges was transported to a local hospital, the police sorted out the group of bystanders and arrested the two men in the car as well as Boughan and the young woman who called the police. In the meantime, when Cardiges arrived at the hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.
New legislation in Georgia honors the memories of both Brannen and Cardiges. An amended state law protects any first responder attempting to help an overdose victim from being sued, and it also protects those who report overdoses from prosecution. In addition, naloxone can now be dispensed by pharmacies and carried by licensed health practitioners.
Opiate Addiction Strikes Various Classes of People
Maybe you’re thinking you aren’t like those young men or don’t know anyone like them, but you’re wrong. Opiate addiction in Georgia strikes people of all socioeconomic classes and situations. In the case of Stephen Cardiges, he was an Eagle Scout, a member of the ROTC, and a Boy Scouts youth counselor. Yet he found himself slumped over in the backseat of a car, his heart beat slowly ticking to a stop.
Because overdose from prescription drug abuse happens every day to 100 Americans, you have to take actions to protect yourself. If you’re taking prescription pain pills, it’s time to pick up a phone and get help, now.