Georgia Alcohol and Drug Use Statistics
Georgia is no exception to the opioid epidemic that has swept the nation. In 2017 alone, 1,014 Georgia residents experienced opioid-related deaths.1 These numbers increased exponentially from the years prior and continue to grow as more opioids flood the market and hospitals.
Let’s take a quick look at how much opioid-related deaths have grown over the years:1
From 2012 to 2020, the total number of opioid overdose deaths increased by 140%, going from 554 to 1332.
Opioid overdoses accounted for 7,954 Emergency Room visits and 2,822 hospitalizations in 2020.
The highest numbers of fatal opioid overdoses, ER visits, and hospitalizations were in urban areas.
From 2019 to 2020, fentanyl-involved overdoses increased by 107%, causing 813 overdose fatalities in 2020.
Prescribing practices regarding opioid medications have become stricter compared to the early 1990s. However, it has become evident that the previously irresponsible prescribing practices are to blame for these increasing numbers.
For a clearer perspective, there were roughly 71 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 people in Georgia—and that was just in 2006.1 During this time, the national average was approximately 59 prescriptions per 100 people. What’s more, those prescription numbers have climbed significantly for Georgia, despite the implementation of stricter practices.
What is the Cost of Rehab in Georgia?
As with any other state, the cost of drug and alcohol rehab in Georgia will depend on various factors; the most prevalent factor is the type of program needed. When it comes to estimating costs for your or a loved one’s care, here’s what you’ll need to consider:
- The type of treatment needed, i.e., medical detox, inpatient care, etc.
- The location and facility type. You can find everything from basic amenities to luxury-style accommodations.
- The duration of treatment typically ranges from 30 to 90 days, depending on the program needed. Of course, the longer the stay, the higher the costs.
- Whether or not you have insurance that covers alcohol and drug rehab in Georgia
- Whether or not you qualify for government funding
Many are under the guise that rehab itself is a luxury they could never afford. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While drug and alcohol rehab in Georgia comes with some considerable costs, like room and board, there are affordable options.
For starters, having insurance can help offset most of the costs of your or your loved one’s rehab stay. Then, you just have to make sure you choose a facility that’s considered “in-network” by your insurance provider. If you do not have insurance coverage for drug rehab in Georgia and aren’t able to pay out of pocket, your next step would be to find state-funded programs.
State-funded rehab facilities may offer free treatment, while others will work with you to create a payment plan based on your financial situation. You can also apply for rehab grants and scholarships, as long as you’re eligible.
How to Find Free Rehabs in Georgia
State-funded rehabs are medical facilities offering free (or low-cost) treatment for substance use disorders. They receive their funding from federal, state, and sometimes local governments—who get it from grants, insurance programs like Medicaid, and more.
Free rehabs operate with the same programs as most regular drug and alcohol rehabs in Georgia. For example, they’ll offer a detox program, interim care if their facilities are complete, recovery housing, counseling, peer support groups, mental health treatment, and even telehealth sessions.
To be eligible for a state-funded drug and alcohol rehab in Georgia, you need to qualify for admission. This would include providing the following information and documentation:
- Your citizenship status
- Your yearly income
- Your family size
- Proof that you do not have health insurance
- Proof of residency within the state of Georgia
Does Insurance Cover Rehab in Georgia?
Ever since the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008, all states, including Georgia, require that healthcare insurers offer plans that include mental health and substance use disorder benefits.2
Let’s talk about the various types of insurance and what they cover regarding alcohol and drug rehab in Georgia.
Private health insurance plans will generally cover the cost of treatment for your substance use disorder and mental health conditions. Some of the top insurance providers that cover rehab include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Aetna, COBRA, United Healthcare, and Cigna.
However, the extent of how much of your treatment is covered and how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket depends entirely on your particular provider and insurance plan. Therefore, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider before entering into a treatment program to ensure they’re in-network with your facility of choice and can provide enough coverage for your treatment needs.
Medicaid is a state and federal program offering healthcare to low-income families. In terms of drug rehab in Georgia, Medicaid will cover all the basic aspects of substance use treatment. This would include screenings, intervention assistance, cravings medications and maintenance, family counseling, inpatient care, long-term residential treatment, detox, outpatient treatment, and other mental health services.
However, not all rehab facilities accept Medicaid, which means you’ll need to verify with your intended facility when making treatment arrangements.
Medicare is a federal-level health insurance program designed for seniors 65 and older and individuals with disabilities. Medicare comes with a monthly premium based on the individual’s income. Those who earn less pay lower premiums.
When it comes to substance use treatments, Medicare is split into four parts—Part A through Part D. Depending on which part your Medicare plan falls under, you’ll receive different treatment benefits. For example, Part A covers up to 60 days of treatment without a co-payment, which helps pay for inpatient care. Part B covers up to 80% of outpatient care costs, including co-occurring disorders.
Does My Insurance Plan Cover Addiction Treatment?
The simplest way to find out if your insurance plan covers addiction treatment is to call the number on the back of your insurance card to speak with your provider. They can give you direct information about in-network facilities and the details of what your particular plan covers.
You can also call our helpline to not only verify your insurance coverage but find a drug or alcohol rehab in Georgia that works in-network with your provider. Our experienced support team can also guide you through your other options if you can’t afford the out-of-pocket costs.
How to Finance Addiction Treatment in Georgia
Whether you have insurance coverage or not, you still may not be able to afford the costs associated with ongoing substance use disorder treatment. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for financing treatment.
Choose a Program that Offers Payment Plans: Another option for funding your treatment is to find a rehab facility that allows month-to-month payment plans. Rather than paying a lump sum of thousands of dollars, many facilities in the state of Georgia will allow you to pay for your treatment incrementally. It works similarly to paying off a loan, meaning that you’ll likely have to pay interest or fees associated with the rehab’s particular plan.
You’ll need to check with the individual rehab facilities to see what types of payment plans they offer and what you’ll need to qualify.
Apply for a Rehab Scholarship: Rehab scholarships are mostly provided by both inpatient and outpatient facilities. However, you can also find rehab scholarships through corporations that manage private facilities and non-profit foundations.
Scholarships are provided on a case-by-case basis and specifically for individuals who wouldn’t be able to receive treatment without them. Depending on the facility or organization offering the scholarship, the entire cost of treatment may be paid or just a portion. To find rehab scholarships, you would typically have to contact each facility directly.
Find a Sliding Scale Rehab Program: The sliding scale program is common practice for many drug and alcohol rehabs in Georgia. The program is a flexible system that allows patients to pay for treatment on a sliding scale—which can increase or decrease—based on the type of treatment needed, their ability to pay, income, and other financial resources.
To find out if the treatment facilities you’re looking at offer a sliding scale payment program, you’ll need to contact them directly. You can also browse through our directory or check with Georgia state’s mental health department for more information.
Popular Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers in Georgia
With so many different Georgia drug and alcohol rehabs throughout the state, it can be difficult to sift through your options to decide which is best. To get you started on your search, we’ve narrowed down a handful of some of the top-rated facilities in the state:
Mount Sinai Wellness Center, Dahlonega, GA
Located in northern Georgia, the Mount Sinai Wellness Center uses evidence-based approaches to target a variety of substance use disorders. This facility comes with a Joint Commission accreditation and offers detox services and residential care.
Each individual will follow a custom-designed treatment schedule tailored to their needs to ensure the best possible outcomes while under the care of the experienced and compassionate staff. Mount Sinai is also renowned for its private “stress-free” location among the mountains and its nutritious meals prepared by a 4-star chef, equine therapies, and exercise therapies.
Blackbear Lodge, Sautee Nacoochee, GA
Blackbear Lodge is primarily a residential rehab facility. Here patients learn responsibility management and aftercare planning to better avoid relapsing in the future. They’re also allowed to “unplug” from their everyday life so they can heal while avoiding everyday stressors.
Blackbear Lodge is a Joint Accredited treatment facility that provides incredible resources to aid in patients’ recovery. This would include group therapy, alternative wellness therapies, and classes that teach life and work skills to benefit individuals as they rejoin society. Some of the bonuses of this rehab facility include chef-prepared meals, a pool, and beautiful nature paths.
Talbott Recovery Campus, Atlanta, GA
The Talbott Recovery Campus is another Joint Accredited treatment facility that also has NAATP accreditation. Talbott utilizes a combination of evidence-based therapies that coincide with gender-specific treatments. They also offer LGBTQ-specific group therapy and family therapy to create a well-rounded program that supports the individual and their loved ones. Additionally, the Talbott Recovery Campus program implements aftercare planning to ensure each individual is prepared to reintegrate into a daily routine with the right tools to handle stress and triggers.
One unique thing about this facility’s treatment is that they have a program called “Mirror Image.” This program is designed to help patients understand the disease of substance use disorders within themselves, which is said to profoundly impact their recovery.
If this is your first time considering drug and alcohol rehab in Georgia, then you likely aren’t sure of what awaits you when you enter into a program. While it’s normal to have concerns, you should keep in mind that there’s nothing to be afraid of. These facilities are managed by licensed and experienced professionals that care about your health and well-being.
You should also keep in mind that no two Georgia drug rehabs will be the same. For example, each facility operates under a different philosophy, utilizing various evidence-based treatments that work.
Inpatient Rehab in Georgia
Inpatient or residential Georgia alcohol and drug rehabs require that individuals live within the treatment facility for a certain amount of time. It all depends on your situation and the program’s requirements, but you can end up staying 30, 60, or 90 days. In some cases, even longer.
Your belongings must be searched upon arrival while you fill out your intake forms. This is to ensure that you’re not bringing any banned substances or weapons into the facility. Other than that, inpatient facilities are usually designed to make patients feel at ease.
Assessment and Treatment Planning
Once settled, patients typically undergo a professional evaluation where the following are assessed:
- Their personal history with substance use
- Their family history with substance use, physical health, mental health, and so on
- Their overall physical and mental health
- Their experiences with treatment or withdrawal, if any
This information is used to design a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. It will also be evaluated throughout your time in treatment to help your care team to see what’s working and what isn’t. So, you can expect some trial and error, but it’s all in your best interest.
Depending on the facility you choose and their treatment philosophy, you’ll likely be required to engage in several, if not all, of the following types of therapy:
- Talk and behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Equine therapy
- Exercise therapy
- Art therapy
- Holistic therapy
Lastly, you can expect to take part in several classes, including:
- Drug and alcohol education class
- Relapse prevention class
- Aftercare planning
Partial Hospitalization Programs
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) are outpatient treatment programs that involve several hours of treatment daily and usually require attendance every day. PHPs are the most intensive outpatient treatment, and they are often necessary after inpatient care.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) also require several hours of therapy daily, but only for up to five days a week. IOPs are also sometimes required after inpatient care.
Standard outpatient treatment involves a few hours of therapy throughout the week, usually only twice per week, plus group meetings.
It’s also strongly encouraged and often required for individuals to attend support group meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). These are also referred to as “peer support” groups, and while they cannot substitute for actual treatment, they’re still a valuable step in recovery.
Peer support groups offer a foundation of support for individuals with the same struggles. The people in these groups tend to take care of one another by offering guidance, understanding, and, most importantly, friendship.
Telehealth and Online Addiction Treatment
We live in a digital world now, which means location doesn’t have to be an obstacle to receiving quality treatment for substance use disorders. Telehealth services make it possible for everyone to get specialized care, even if they live out of state. It’s especially beneficial for those that are physically disabled and aren’t able to leave their homes to get the care they need.
Virtual substance use treatment works similarly to your standard rehab program. It requires multiple types of therapies and medical evaluations, with the primary difference being that it’s all done from a video call. However, telehealth isn’t for everyone. If you’re a strong candidate for inpatient treatment, virtual drug rehab in Georgia likely won’t offer you the type of support or medical care you need.
While it’s not the case for everyone, most people with an addiction or dependence will be required to undergo a detox program. This could be a standard detox program or a medically assisted detox program—it all depends on which substance or substances you’ve become dependent on.
For example, most substances alter the chemical pathways within the brain. Over time, the body requires a certain amount of these substances to function “normally,” and will go through withdrawal almost immediately without them.
Withdrawal is typically a very painful, disorienting, and overall stressful experience. It can also be very dangerous if you’ve been using substances like alcohol, barbiturates, or benzodiazepines. The withdrawal process can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, and the severity and duration of withdrawal will vary based on the following factors:4
- Duration and type of substance(s) used
- The amount of substance(s) used each time
- Any co-existing health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- Any co-existing mental health conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc.
Medical detox typically involves 24/7 care and supervision, plus medication to ease the discomfort. This would include FDA-approved medications designed for withdrawal and symptomatic medications that help with everything from headaches to diarrhea.
Detox is typically the first step for drug and alcohol rehab in Georgia as it ensures a healthy start to the treatment program.
Specialized Rehab in Georgia for Various Populations
There are also specialized drug and alcohol rehabs in Georgia designed for different populations. This would include veteran, gender-specific, adolescent programs, and more. Each program will offer specialized care for the unique population to ensure the best possible recovery outcomes.
Veteran rehab facilities are typically governed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These facilities specialize in providing the necessary medical, social, vocational, and rehabilitation therapies for returning soldiers who have been impacted by active duty.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community are said to struggle with substance use disorders at a rate that doubles the rest of the general population.5 The factors that contribute to this include the population’s vulnerability to things like discrimination, family rejection, stigma, and higher rates of depression.
LGBTQ+ rehabs have a keen focus on the needs of the LGBTQ+ community, addressing all of the above factors.
Men and Women-Only Rehabs
Substance use disorders affect men and women in different ways. With that said, both men and women recover differently and generally require different treatment approaches.
Women-only and men-only rehab facilities allow individuals to focus on their own gender-defining issues while providing treatment based on the different contributing factors that lead to substance use disorders in men and women.
Adolescent-specific or teen rehab focuses on the significant changes—psychological, physiological, and social—that adolescents experience that may contribute to their substance use.
These types of facilities are designed to address teenagers on an individual level and provide the proper treatment and the tools to cope with the different pressures that may trigger them to use substances.
Should I Travel to Georgia for Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
Treatment in your home state may not be the best option for you. Sometimes traveling to a new state is a fresh start needed to really focus on yourself and heal. In other instances, crossing state lines to attend a treatment program means coming home and being closer to friends and family.
If you’re wondering whether you should travel to Georgia for drug and alcohol rehab, here are some things to consider.
Regional Considerations for Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Georgia
Georgia is a rather diverse state with beaches, mountainous areas, and plenty of metropolitan areas. The state is divided into several regions, which would include the Appalachian Plateau, the Valley and Ridge, the Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and the Coastal Plain. The most popular cities would include Atlanta, Columbus, Augusta, Macon, Savannah, Athens, Sandy Springs, and South Fulton.
The most important thing you’ll need to think about when looking for Georgia drug and alcohol rehabs is which type of setting will be best for your recovery. For example, would being surrounded by nature and the mountains bring you peace? Or, are you more of a saltwater-cures-all type of person?
Alcohol and Drug Laws in Georgia
Thanks to the opioid epidemic, Overdose-related deaths have spiked significantly in the state of Georgia. What’s more, the stigma surrounding substance use disorders is still heavy enough to keep many people from getting the help they need, from keeping their jobs, or from helping themselves or others when an overdose occurs.
However, Georgia legislation is working hard to combat this epidemic and hopefully give second chances in the process. Here are a couple of substance use-related laws you should know about:
The Georgia 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law: The Georgia 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law, aka the Georgia Overdose law, provides a limited amount of immunity for those seeking emergency medical care where illicit substances are involved. In other words, if you or someone else owns certain substances or paraphernalia and are experiencing an overdose, you’ll be shielded from prosecution upon calling 911.6
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008: The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act passed in 2008, and the state has been smoothing out the finer details since. This parity law argues that substance use treatment and mental health treatment should be covered by insurance, just like any other medical condition. Under this law, insurance providers are prohibited from limiting the benefits associated with mental health care and substance use programs so that treatment may be more accessible.7
Aftercare Options for Post-Rehab Success
Returning back to normal life after rehab can be challenging. This is because normal life means returning to work, friends, family, school, and any other obligations. All of these things can trigger the temptation to relapse. Fortunately, that’s what aftercare is for.
Aftercare is essentially any type of ongoing care you receive once you leave rehab. During your inpatient treatment, you’ll come up with a specific aftercare plan to support your early recovery and help prevent instances of relapse as you anticipate the future challenges you’ll encounter with a ready solution to keep you on the right path.
Aftercare is different for everybody, and it typically consists of the following elements:
- Residing in a sober living home as you transition out of residential care and back to “normal” life
- Attending local support group meetings
- Continuing therapy
- Participating in your rehab facility’s alumni programs
You’ll notice a plethora of treatment options when searching for “drug rehab(s) near me” or “alcohol rehab(s) near me.” Talk to our specialists to determine which facility is best for your needs.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, April 3). Georgia: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2021, November 10). Mental Health and Substance Use Insurance Help.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021, October 13). Grants.
- Shah, M., & Huecker, M. R. (2021, October 11). Opioid Withdrawal. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.
- LGBT Substance Use—Beyond Statistics. (n.d.). SocialWorkToday.
- Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale County Health Departments. (n.d.). The Georgia 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law.
- Eldridge, E. 2021, February 11). Parity Law Aims to Equalize Mental Health and Addiction Coverage With Physical Care. Georgia Public Broadcasting.