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Georgia Drug Use on the Rise

United States Drug Enforcement Administration

This is National Prevention Week, a time for communities and organizations across the country to raise awareness about preventing substance abuse. Jill Gonzalez is an analyst with the personal finance website WalletHub. She says the scope of the problem is massive, with more than 103,500 drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in November 2022.

Gonzalez says Georgia ranks in the bottom half when it comes drug use, but while Georgia doesn’t have the same level of drug use as many other states, the numbers are rising. Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Jerry Saulters explains more in our interview.

Analysts say more rehab opportunities, substance abuse facilities, and counselors are needed in the state. The DEA seized more than 410 million lethal doses of fentanyl in 2022.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
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