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Georgia Opioid Summary

Revised February 2018

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths

In 2016, there were 918 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Georgia—a rate of 8.8 deaths per 100,000 persons—compared to the national rate of 13.3 per 100,000 persons.

This graph shows the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in Georgia compared to the United States from 1999-2016. In 2016, the opioid overdose death rate was 8.8 deaths per 100,000 persons in Georgia, versus 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons in the United States.

Opioid Pain Reliever Prescriptions

In 2013, Georgia providers wrote 90.7 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons (approximately 8.99 million prescriptions). In the same year, the average U.S. rate was 79.3. Since then, opioid prescriptions in the U.S. have declined, with a nearly 10 percent decline in Georgia from 2013 to 2015, resulting in an estimated 77.1 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (7.88 million prescriptions) in 2015 (IMS Health, 2016).

This graph shows the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Georgia from 1999-2016. In 2016, there were 918 opioid-related overdose deaths: 277 involved synthetic opioids, 226 involved heroin, and 536 involved prescription opioids. Categories are not mutually exclusive because deaths may involve more than one drug.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

The incidence of NAS in Georgia increased from 1.4 per 1000 births in 2010 to 3.2 per 1,000 births in 2014 (GA DPH). A 2013 analysis of data from 28 states found an average NAS rate of 6.0 per 1,000 births (CDC, MMWR, 2016), higher than the rate of 2.4 per 1,000 births recorded in Georgia.

Medicaid Share of Total Prescriptions for Buprenorphine Products

Georgia is among 13 states with the lowest share of buprenorphine prescriptions funded by Medicaid, an estimated 6.5 percent, compared to a national average of 24.2 percent (IMS Health, 2016).

HIV Prevalence and HIV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use (IDU)

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, 9.1 percent (3,5941) of the 39,513 new diagnoses of HIV in the United States were attributed to IDU. Among new cases, 8.2 percent (2,6141) of cases among men and 13.2 percent (980) of cases among women were transmitted via IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: In 2014, 955,081 Americans were living with a diagnosed HIV infection—a rate of 299.5 per 100,000 persons. Of these, 18.1 percent (131,0561) of males and 22.6 percent (52,013) of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (CDC).
  • State Incidence: Of the new HIV cases in 2015, 2,381 occurred in Georgia, with 6.4%1 of new cases in males and 8.8 percent of new cases in females attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).
  • State Prevalence: In 2014, an estimated 46,870 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in Georgia—a rate of 564 per 100,000 persons. Of these, 12.9 percent1 of males and 15.7 percent of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).

Hepatitis C (HCV) Prevalence and HCV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, there were 181,871 reported cases of chronic HCV and 33,900 estimated cases of acute HCV2 (CDC). Where data were available, 64.2 percent of acute cases reported IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: An estimated 3.5 million Americans are living with HCV, including approximately 2.7 million living with chronic infections (CDC).
  • State Incidence: In 2015, Georgia reported 7,175 cases of chronic HCV and 84 cases of acute HCV (0.8 per 100,000 persons) (CDC).
  • State Prevalence: Current state prevalence data are not available. As of 2010, an estimated 84,500 (1,170 per 100,000) persons were living with HCV in Georgia (HepVu).

Additional Resources

NIH RePORTER FY2017 NIH-funded projects related to opioid use and use disorder in Georgia: 2

Notes

  1. Includes transmission to individuals with injection drug use as a risk factor.
  2. 2015 estimate after adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting. Data for 2015 were unavailable for Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

This page was last updated February 2018

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