Opioid Crisis

Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects. Medically they are primarily used for pain relief, including anesthesia. However, they are extremely dangerous when used incorrectly. Many Georgians have lost their lives caused by opioid overdose. In Georgia, within the last year, hospital emergency rooms have been inundated patients who have overdosed.

This crisis is constantly a reoccurring subject in the news. GHA is working with hospitals and state and federal agencies to develop strategies on saving lives. 

September 18 Webinar: The Opioid Epidemic and Strategies for Change

GHA’s own Dr. Steven Walsh, CMO, will provide an historical introduction into opioid use. Included in this discussion he will review the fifth vital sign, the opioid paradigm prescription rates and overdoses statistics, as well as describe the attempted fix with Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) and Abuse-Deterrent Formulations (ADF’s). Included in this session will be an analysis of federal and state efforts, specifically, prescribing guidelines, prosecution of those running “pill mills,” PDMP programs and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) REMS, risk/benefit of opioids on the market and updates to laws for Naloxone. Dr. Walsh will better educate participants on what to look for in prescription patterns and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), as well as supply and demand.

Please click here to access program details. Please note we’re offering a reduced program fee for this program as well as offering physician CEUs (AMA PRA Category 1 Credit).

To register, click here.

GHA Participates in Task Force

GHA’s Rhett Partin, Sr. Vice President of Services and Public Health participated in the State Attorney Generals Opioid Task Force hosted by Augusta University on August 9. The purpose of the meeting was to bring key public and private stakeholders together in an effort to share information that will help all of us curb Georgia’s opioid epidemic. GHA strives to represent its members at all meetings aimed at improving the health of Georgians.

CDC Offers Free Opioid Training Series

In 2016, almost 62 million American patients had at least one prescription for opioids filled or refilled. The average number of opioid prescriptions per patient was 3.5, and the average days of supply per prescription was 18 days. Taking opioids for longer periods of time or in higher doses increases the risk of addiction, overdose, and death. The CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain provides recommendations for safer and more effective prescribing of opioids for chronic pain in patients 18 and older in outpatient settings outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care.


COCA Call Webinar Series

CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) partnered with CDC’s Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) and the University of Washington to present a webinar series about the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. This seven-part series is intended to use a data-driven approach to help providers choose the most effective pain treatment options and improve the safety of opioid prescribing for chronic pain. The primary objective is to provide informative, case-based content that will demonstrate and instruct participants on how the 12 recommendations of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain can be incorporated and applied in a primary care practice setting.

Opioid Overdose Deaths Continue to Climb

An estimated 46,041 Americans died from opioid overdoses between October 2016 and October 2017, a 15% increase from the prior 12-month period, according to provisional data released May 16 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Total overdose deaths from opioids, cocaine and psychostimulants rose an estimated 12% to 68,400. The data include national and state-level estimates by drug category.