Marietta, with a 2014 population of 59,067, is
located to the north of Atlanta, Georgia’s largest city. In the heart of Cobb
County, its surrounding urban areas include Fair Oaks, Kennesaw and Smyrna. If
you or a loved one are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction and are i
need of support in the local area, you’ll find a number of options both in
Marietta or a little further afield.
Drug addiction in Marietta
As one of Atlanta’s largest suburbs, which has
seen its population increase by 33 percent since 2000, Marietta can get caught
up in the bigger city’s drug-related problems. But it also has some of its own.
It is therefore important to get an idea of the drug-related problems affecting
the city and the state of Georgia more broadly, the impact various drugs can
have, and the treatment programs in Georgia available to help you or a loved
one overcome an addiction.
Like many urban areas across North America,
Marietta has been impacted by a drug overdose epidemic caused by extremely
dangerous opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanyl. Fentanyl is roughly 50
times stronger than heroin and has been linked with a spike in overdose deaths
in many cities. An amount the size of a grain of salt can be sufficient to
cause an overdose and risk someone’s life. In June 2017, the Marietta Police
Department issued a warning to local residents about the increased presence of
both opioids on the city’s streets. They stressed that fentanyl and carfentanyl
are so potent that members of the public could be put at risk by drug residue
left behind in areas like hotel rooms, restrooms, rental vehicles or
Addiction in Georgia
In the peach State, 21,129 people sought
treatment for a substance abuse problem in 2012. One year earlier, in 2011,
drug-induced deaths in Georgia amounted to 11.6 per 100,000, slightly below the
US national average of 12.9 per 100,000.
The National Institute
for Drug Abuse noted that alcohol, either alone or in combination
with other drugs like cocaine or marijuana, is the most commonly abused drug in
Atlanta. In 2012, alcohol was the drug causing the most drug-related crisis
line calls. The number of people in the city making crisis calls due to alcohol
abuse rose from 20,404 in 2011 to 21,410 in 2012. Alcohol addiction contributed
to almost half of all treatment admissions in 2012. That compares to 16.3
percent of admissions being linked to marijuana, the most commonly-used elicit
drug in Georgia’s largest city.
The problem with alcohol extends across the
state. In 2016, there were 19,000 arrests for DUI offenses.
A worrying trend has been the increase in
methamphetamine admissions in Atlanta, which reached their highest level since
2006 in 2012. During the 2010-12 period, admissions to public treatment
programs rose by more than 20 percent, from 5.2 percent to 6.4 percent of total
The challenge of combatting drug addiction in
Georgia is complicated by the fact that the state, and Atlanta in particular,
is seen as an important drug trafficking route in the southeastern United
States for international drug cartels. This makes elicit substances easier to
obtain on the streets of the state’s towns and cities. An example of the risks
involved came in May 2017, when the Georgia Bureau of Investigations issued a public
health warning about the synthetic opioid Furanyl Fentanyl. The GBI
said the drug was so powerful that it could kill if someone touched it or
inhaled its residue. The warning cautioned people to look out for symptoms such
as shallow breathing, dizziness, lethargy, cold or clammy skin, loss of
consciousness or heart failure.
The threat of becoming addicted to drugs in
Georgia is faced by various age groups and sections of the population. Between
2009 and 2013, a yearly average of 73,000 adolescents in Georgia said they had
abused an illegal substance within a month of being surveyed.
Drug laws in Georgia
The state of Georgia treats drug possession very
severely. According to Atlanta Criminal
Defense Attorney, the most likely outcome of a conviction for drug
possession is a lengthy prison sentence. State law interprets personal
possession in very broad terms, meaning that if you’re driving a car with drugs
in it, authorities will still try to prove you had possession. In addition, two
people can face charges for being in possession of the same drugs.
Georgia’s Controlled Substance Act classifies
drugs into five schedules. Each drug is assessed for its potential for abuse,
tendency to cause addiction and recognized medical use. Schedule I drugs are
seen as the most dangerous and include such substances as:
Schedule II includes:
Drug possession in Georgia
is treated as a felony offense, with the only exception to this being if you’re
carrying less than an ounce of marijuana. Possession of a schedule I or
schedule II drug can lead to a prison sentence of between two and 15 years, if
it is your first offense. In the case of second or subsequent offenses,
sentences can range from between five to 30 years. High fines are also imposed.
Even in instances where you are arrested for possession of schedule III, IV or
V drugs, prison time is to be expected. Sentences range from one to five years
for the first offense to one to 10 years on the second or subsequent offenses.
Treatment in Marietta
If you or a close friend
or relative are experiencing drug addiction and feel you need support to get
your life back on track, Marietta, Georgia, has a number of treatment
facilities available to help you. With the city being part of Atlanta’s
metropolitan area, you also have the option of taking advantage of the wide
array of treatment options available there.
Inpatient programs are an
excellent way to tackle a drug addiction, enabling you to receive the support
and care you require in a safe and secure environment.
Depending on your
requirements, or where you’re at in the treatment process, the option of an
outpatient program may be more suitable. This would allow you to continue with
other life commitments while receiving regular advice and assistance to
In marietta, A good place
to start could well be the Cobb and Douglas
Counties Community Services Boards. The CDCCSB runs an access center
which undertakes initial assessments of potential patients to determine their
care and support needs, both for substance abuse issues and co-occurring mental
Bright Changes is the
CDCCSB’s program targeting young people aged 5 to 21. It boasts youth-led and
family-supported initiatives to tackle substance abuse and other issues such as
mental health and developmental disabilities. Services you can take advantage
of here include individual, group and family counseling, group skills training
and development, therapy, and medication management. At the Hartmann Center,
children and adolescents aged 13 to 17 can attend a residential program to help
overcome substance abuse issues and co-occurring mental health disorders. The
Hartmann Center program targets:
“Youth between ages of 13
and 17 who is experiencing a severe crisis which has significantly compromised
safety and/or functioning. Youth must have symptoms of a substance related
disorder and/ or some with co-occurring disorders; and one or more of the
indicate a need for continuous monitoring and supervision by 24-hour staff to ensure
insufficient or severely limited skills to maintain an adequate level of
functioning, specifically identified deficits in daily living and social skills
and/or community/family integration; or
“Youth has adaptive behaviors
that significantly strain the family’s or current caretaker’s ability to
adequately respond to the youth’s needs; or
“Youth has a history of
unstable housing due to a behavioral health issue or a history of unstable
housing which exacerbates a behavioral health condition.”
For adults, the Diversion Center provides an
outpatient program, which offers a session once a week for patients. The
program aims to develop patients’ abilities to set goals, work on
self-improvement and become more self-aware. The organization’s Prime for Life
educational program aims to reduce alcohol and drug addiction. The Diversion’s
services are court-approved, and also include alcohol and drug evaluations.
is a long-term residential recovery program based in Marietta. Recognizing that
homeless people can be particularly vulnerable to drug abuse and its negative
consequences, the center states that it aims to give homeless men and women
another chance to turn their lives around. The Extension receives word of mouth
referrals from across Cobb County, and also accepts referrals from government
services and non-profits.
Having been active in the
area for 25 years, the Extension has built a reputation for its treatment
programs. Beginning with an assessment of a patient’s needs, trained staff
working on the residential program arrange substance abuse counseling for drug
users, as well as educational training and life skills programs to prepare
individuals for a sustained and successful recovery. Programs range in length
from nine to 12 months. Early on in an individual’s residency, staff work with
them to develop and individualized treatment plan (ITP).
The Anxiety and Stress Management Institute has
facilities found on the border between Marietta and Atlanta. It provides
comprehensive therapy and counseling services for people dealing with mental
health disorders. Some of the services on offer include cognitive behavioral
therapy, smoking secession therapy, play therapy and psychological testing.
Sober living is also a
crucial part of recovery. A drug user looking to get back into the community
and make a full, sustainable recovery benefits from a safe and clean
environment in which they can focus on getting better and reintegrating
themselves into society.
S&R Sober Living aims
to help men in Marietta with the recovery process. Sober living is combined
with an intensive outpatient program to help create a balanced and healthy
life. The center looks for clients to show respect to fellow housemates and
visitors, follow rules and guidelines provided, and actively pursue their
spiritual journey. S&R promises a safe and secure environment to help
residents to avoid negative influences. Their staff also commit to honesty and
integrity, while actively encouraging clients to follow the principles of the
12 steps to recovery.
Treatment options in
If you choose to go
outside of marietta for treatment, you won’t have far to travel to take
advantage of the services on offer in Atlanta.
Talbott Recovery offers a wide range of
treatment programs, noting on its website that the road to recovery for every
drug user will be different. Services on offer here range from initial
assessments, to detox programs, Intensive Outpatient treatment and Partial
Hospitalization Programs. Different programs are available to meet the
distinctive needs of young adults and adults.
At its main campus in
Atlanta, Talbott provides a full range of support for drug addiction and
co-occurring psychiatric and other mental health conditions. Its Columbus
Outpatient facility offers day and evening Intensive outpatient programs, and
also includes a Partial Hospitalization Program option. Outside of Atlanta,
Talbott’s Dunwoody Outpatient location provides a young adult program, together
with dual diagnosis outpatient treatment.
River Men Health Centers
can help you with a an array of treatment options at its locations in Atlanta
and Augusta. To get started, they offer a free confidential consultation, which
will assist you to decide what the most appropriate treatment program would be.
As well as behavioral therapy and detox treatment, River Men Health Centers
offer recovery programs in Georgia to ensure you do not relapse after the
completion of a treatment program. These include addiction support groups, and
self-help groups. The health centers offer treatment and support for up to five
years to ensure that you can take a long-term approach to putting the drugs you
were addicted to behind you.
The Arches stands out as an option in the sober
living category in Atlanta. Its sober living environment is designed to assist
recovering addicts re-enter the workplace, resume family life or social aspects
of daily life. At the same time, it retains accountability measures to ensure that goals are met and recovery
plans are maintained. In addition to direct staff support, there are life
guidance groups and life skills training available.