Georgia’s top doctors taking on opioid epidemic

Georgia's top doctors gather in Atlanta Monday to come up with a plan to take on the opioid epidemic in our state.

According to the Substance Abuse Research Alliance, opioid overdoses spike by 200 percent since 2002.

According to the Georgia Department of Health, the number of deaths from opioids in 2016 was 982, a more than sixty percent increase since 2010.

The problem is so bad in our state that the Georgia Composite Medical Board recently ruled to require that every doctor in Georgia get training on proper prescribing of opioids.

Frank McKay, with the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation, says last year there were 7.8 million opioid prescriptions written in the state of Georgia.

"Everyone agrees that is far too many opioid prescriptions," says McKay.

Dr. Craig Weil, Chairman of the Medical Committee for the Georgia State Board of Worker's Compensation, says opioids are given out to three out of four injured workers.

He says, “I think this was a very strong educational conference to try and have people start looking at alternative methods for pain, and help their injured workers without having them get into a bad situation with opioids.”

There is help available for people with opioid addiction on the Georgia Department of Health’s website.

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