Pinnacle Treatment Centers, a leader in providing accessible, affordable treatment for individuals with substance use disorders, is proud to serve the community of North Metro Atlanta and North Georgia at our HealthQwest Canton location in Cherokee County.
HealthQwest Canton | 230 Riverstone Parkway Suite C | Canton, GA 30114
September is National Recovery Month, which is an appropriate time to honor the privilege of expanding our recovery services to a new location that will allow us to reach more individuals in need, help more families heal, and give another community the resources it needs to mitigate the ongoing harm caused by the opioid overdose crisis.
HealthQwest Canton joins our six existing treatment centers in the state of Georgia. We offer integrated, holistic, individualized treatment for substance use disorders (SUD), including alcohol use disorder (AUD), opioid use disorder (OUD), and polysubstance use disorder. By opening this location, we’re responding to an increased need for evidence-based treatment for SUD, and OUD in particular, in Georgia.
HealhtQwest Canton is accredited by the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).
PLEASE JOIN US AT OUR OPEN HOUSE ON OCTOBER 10th 2023 TO MEET OUR STAFF, SEE OUR LOCATION, AND LEARN ABOUT HOW WE WORK TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, AND COMMUNITIES WITH THE LATEST EVIDENCE-BASED ADDICTION CARE AVAILABLE.
About HealthQwest Canton
At HealthQwest Canton, we offer the following services:
- General Outpatient Treatment (GOP) for people with substance use disorder
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for people with opioid use disorder (OUD):
- Buprenorphine (Suboxone)
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for people with alcohol use disorder (OUD):
- Medication Management
- Essential Treatment Services, including:
- Comprehensive clinical evaluation
- Custom-designed, personalized treatment plans
- Patient-driven one-on-one counseling
- Group counseling
- Trauma-Informed care
- Evidence-Based Therapeutic Techniques:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Educational Programs and Workshops, including:
- Family Dynamics
- Relationship Maintenance
- Relapse Prevention
- Stages of Change
There has never been a more important time to expand treatment for opioid use disorder – and other addictions – in the state of Georgia. According to CDC data, nationwide rates of fatal overdose increased over 350 percent between 1999 and 2020.
In Georgia, rates of opioid overdose mirrored those national increases. That’s why we’re expanding our treatment services in Georgia. We understand people need the high-quality, evidence-based support and care we can offer.
The Opioid Crisis in Georgia
In October 2017, The White House declared the opioid overdose crisis a national emergency. That declaration included $6 billion in funding for initiatives to reduce demand, increase access to treatment, reduce the flow of illicit opioids into the country, and expand harm reduction initiatives in community health centers and rural health centers nationwide.
In Georgia, the State Department of Health used their funds to engage over 200 stakeholders to form a comprehensive statewide plan to reduce the harm caused by the opioid epidemic and overdose crisis. Initially, the plan they formulated involved the creation of The Opioid and Substance Misuse Response Program as part of the Division of Health Protection in the Georgia Department of Public Health. Subsequently, the plan included increased funding for prevention, data collection and reporting, prescription drug monitoring, control and enforcement, and treatment and recovery.
Here’s the latest data on the opioid crisis in Georgia, as reported in the Georgia Department of Public Health Opioid and Substance Misuse Response publication, “The Georgia Opioid Strategic Planning, Multi-Cultural Needs Assessment.”
Opioid Overdose in Georgia: Facts and Figures
- From 2010 to 2020, the total number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Georgia increased by 207%
- From 2019-2021, opioid-related overdose deaths in Georgia increased by 101%:
- 2019: 853
- 2021: 1,718
- From 2019 to 2021, fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths increased 124%
- 2019: 614
- 2021: 1379
- Total drug overdose deaths in 2021: 2,390
- Opioid related: 71%
- Fentanyl-related: 57%
In addition, between 2019 and 2021 in Georgia:
- Total non-fatal drug overdoses increased
- Emergency department visits and hospitalizations for drug overdoses increased
- Presence of fentanyl in seized cocaine, heroin, and counterfeit pills increased
Now let’s look at the data for Cherokee County, where HealthQwest Canton operates:
Cherokee County Opioid Overdose Deaths: Annual Surveillance, 2018-2021
- 2018: 37 fatalities
- 2019: 114 fatalities
- 2020: 42 fatalities
- 2021: 43 fatalities
This data gives us one clear message: the people of Cherokee County need help and support addressing the opioid crisis. Professional treatment and support is the best way to address this crisis, and we want the people of Cherokee County to know we’re here for them in this time of need. Let’s take a look at how Georgia plans to meet these needs, based on data collected for the Multi-Cultural Needs Assessment we mention above.
Moving Forward: Georgia Responds to the Opioid Crisis
To determine the best path forward to address the drug use and opioid overdose crisis in Georgia, public health officials conducted a lengthy interview and survey process. Throughout the interview process, participants noted the presence of judgment, stigma, and prejudice while seeking support services, accessing resources, or inquiring about treatment. Therefore, they stressed that across the board, they think counselors/therapists can and should be more compassionate and empathetic, and offer culturally appropriate care that’s responsive to their unique needs. In addition, they noted two things many people in Georgia need to understand:
- Emotional pain is a primary trigger for misusing substances
- Spirituality is an important component in the SUD recovery process
Participants in the interviews and surveys recommended the State of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Public Health work make a wide variety of structural, relational, and transformational changes. These include:
- Address poly-substance misuse in treatment programs
- Legalize and promote syringe exchange for intravenous drug users
- Provide ongoing medical services to groups in need
- Reduce barriers to treatment
- Streamline intake process for various populations
- Provide Narcan more to all first responders
- Make Narcan affordable for at-risk populations
- Legalize and implement syringe exchange programs
- Reduce barriers to housing access due to prior convictions, lack of employment, federal policies, and stigma
- Increase availability of linguistically and culturally appropriate support
- Individualize treatment to match the needs of each person
- Discuss SUD in all areas – media, public speech, otherwise – without judgment, in a way that demonstrates compassion and understanding
- Increase support non-English speaking immigrants
- Increase peer support for all cultural and demographic groups
- Eliminate stigma surrounding substance use and opioid use disorder (OUD), which prevent substance users from seeking treatment.
- Reduce overprescribing in older adults
- Adopt a holistic approach to treating substance use disorders
- Increase harm reduction efforts to mitigate suffering caused by substance use
- Train physicians to make accurate and appropriate diagnoses and referrals for SUD care and treatment
The opioid crisis in the U.S. happened in three waves. The first resulted from increases in prescription opioids, a trend which began in the 1990s. The second resulted from an increase in heroin use, as people with opioid prescriptions developed opioid use disorder (OUD) and turned to illicit opioids, such as heroin, when new prescribing rules reduced access to legal opioids. The third began around 2016, with an influx of fentanyl into the illicit drug supply in the U.S.
Polysubstance Misuse and Co-Occurring Disorders
Although public health officials have yet to label a Fourth Wave of the opioid crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic altered its contours. In 2023, we face an increase in overdoses caused by the presence of the illicit opioid, fentanyl, in drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and illicit benzodiazepines. In addition, treatment providers report a drastic increase in the amount of co-occurring disorders among people with SUD.
When a person has a mental health disorder at the same time as a substance use disorder, they receive a dual diagnosis for co-occurring disorders. For people with OUD and a mental health disorder, evidence shows the gold-standard treatment is a combination of:
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), including buprenorphine, methadone, or naltrexone
- Counseling, therapy, and social support
- Lifestyle changes
- Peer support
At Pinnacle Treatment, MAT programs include all of the above: our MAT programs are about more than medication. They’re about helping people with OUD rebuild their lives, and learn to live, grow, and thrive in recovery. Evidence shows the following benefits of holistic, individualized MAT programs:
- Reduced opioid use
- Decreased risk of relapse to opioid use
- Reduced involvement with the criminal justice system
- Increased social, school, and family function
- Increased ability to find work and stay employed
- Decreased opioid related mortality
To learn more about MAT, please read these articles about MAT on our blog:
If you or someone you love needs treatment and support for OUD or another addiction, please reach out to us today. If you live in the North Metro Atlanta area or North Georgia, please consider seeking treatment close to home at HealthQwest Canton.
The sooner a person who needs OUD treatment gets the treatment they need, the better the outcome for the individual, the family, and the community. Treatment works! Please reach out to us today if you have any questions.