Georgia ranked in top tier for action against opioid abuse

Georgia has been named 1 of 13 states receiving the highest mark from the National Safety Council, for taking comprehensive actions to eliminate opioid overdoes and help protect residents. Georgia rose from a “failing” designation in 2016 to “improving” in the new report on the opioid crisis, which was released in conjunction with the National Rx Drug and Heroin Summit, held in Atlanta. The summit featured speakers such as former President Bill Clinton, to Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to President Trump who was designated to lead the administration response to the opioid issue; GPP staff also spoke at the event! Opioids are a class of drugs that mimic the body’s natural response to pain by stimulating the body’s opiod receptors.

The Safety Council identified six key actions that states can take to tackle their respective opioid crisis, and Georgia met 5 out of 6 actions. The Georgia Department of Public Health has implemented a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, an electronic database that can help eliminate duplicate prescribing and over prescribing of controlled substances. The program can provide a prescriber or pharmacist with information regarding a patient’s controlled substance prescription history and protect patients at risk of misuse or abuse.

Governor Nathan Deal in Georgia issued an order in 2016 that directed the Department of Public Health to issue a standing order to allow naloxone to be dispensed over the counter by pharmacists across the state. With the help of these key actions, and support from the Georgia Department of Public Health, and other state and community organizations, the opioid crisis in Georgia remains a top priority.

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