A New Hope: The Addiction Alliance of Georgia

With needs growing amid the pandemic, Emory Healthcare and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation are partnering with collaborators throughout Georgia in a long-term venture to reduce addiction, improve recovery, and save lives.

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More than 20 million Americans needed substance-use treatment in 2019, but only about one in 10 received the specialty care they needed. Addiction to alcohol, opioids, and other drugs is a leading cause of disease, disability, and premature death, with drug overdoses alone taking a record 72,000 lives in the US in 2019. The Addiction Alliance of Georgia will focus initially on outreach, education, and reducing stigma by providing a better understanding of addiction as a chronic, treatable disease. In 2021, it plans to offer clinical services in Atlanta. 

Currently, “in response to the pandemic and the dramatically increased demand, Emory and Hazelden Betty Ford have both used telehealth effectively and extensively to help people with substance-use disorders,” said Mark Hyman Rapaport, chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory School of Medicine and chief of Psychiatric Services at Emory Healthcare. 

Information on existing services can be found at the Addiction Alliance of Georgia website.—Jennifer Johnson