The Opioid Epidemic

Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) has been on the forefront of this epidemic since 2012, when NGMC developed and implemented new guidelines for prescribing pain medications in NGMC emergency departments (EDs). Since then, NGHS has been a role model for the state in addressing this crisis:

  • In 2015, the NGHS Medical Center Foundation’s Medical Center Open raised more than $281,000 that funded Project DAN (Deaths Avoided by Naloxone). With those funds, NGHS trained 95 law agencies in 52 counties in the use of Naloxone, a drug that can quickly reverse the effects of overdose from opioids or heroin. NGHS supplied almost 5,000 Naloxone kits to law enforcement and EMTs.
  • NGHS supported the effort to pass Senate Bill 121, the Jeffrey Dallas Gay, Jr. Act, in 2017. This legislation allows pharmacists to dispense Naloxone/Narcan on an over-the-counter basis.
  • In 2017, officials from NGMC and Georgia Council on Substance Abuse announced the new ED-CARES Peer Support Program outside NGMC Gainesville’s ED. The program makes NGMC the first and only hospital in Georgia to connect people surviving overdoses to Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialists (CARES) in its EDs. Learn more.
  • In 2018, the Peer Support Program was expanded to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at NGMC Gainesville, with plans for expansion to NGMC Braselton soon. The program made NGMC the first hospital in the nation to offer a peer support program in its NICUs. The program connects mothers who deliver babies with symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome to CARES.
  • NGMC is a proud, founding member of the Partnership for a Drug Free Hall, which is a partnership of agencies and community members dedicated to providing the community of Hall County with information, resources and actions to address the drug problems of Hall County. For more information about the Partnership for a Drug Free Hall and forum series, go to

Watch 3 Steps to Save a Life training video at

Featured Media

“It’s Just a Little Pot ”

View a recording of Drug Free Hall’s “It’s Just a Little Pot” forum recording.

“The Truth About Vaping ”

View a recording of Drug Free Hall’s “The Truth About Vaping ”.

“Not My Family” Forum

View a recording of Drug Free Hall’s first “Not My Family” Forum, including a dramatic performance by the Gainesville Theatre Alliance.

The Highjacked Brain

View a recording of Drug Free Hall’s first “Not My Family” Forum: The Highjacked Brain
(recorded Tuesday, January 23, 2018)