As much of the South began to feel the effects of a spike in opiate addiction, Metro Atlanta emerged as one of the areas where addicts are most likely to search for treatment and enter recovery.

I was one of those people.

The area has seen a significant rise in overdose deaths, inpatient treatment, and an emerging industry of half-way and three-quarter residences that seek to help addicts reintegrate and stay sober.

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For addicts in active addiction, however, change comes at a slow place. Supervised treatment is well beyond the means of poorer Georgians, state-subsidized housing is competitive, and many addicts require specialized treatment depending on their used substances and psychological health.

Many, myself included, end up waiting weeks to months for a spot in a treatment center. And that waiting period can be the difference between life and death.

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In this video I introduce you to a friend from my time in early recovery and we’ll hear from some of those fighting for change in a time of immense need.