(WTVM) - The opioid epidemic is an ongoing crisis in many states across the U.S. Since 2,000 opioids have caused more than 300,000 deaths in Georgia alone.
According to the CDC, opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016 nationwide.
Many officials related the opioid crisis to overprescribing prescription medications.
We spoke with a Georgia man who once suffered from an opioid addiction - now three years clean and he says he knows this all too well.
"I would do anything and everything to get them and its cause me to do several stints in prison. I had to get into some classes and have a support group around me. I realized the downfalls of it and the dangers of it."-said Timothy Richardson
Medications which are no less addictive than heroin now considered gateway drugs.
"The heroin epidemic is starting to hit the streets because of these pain pills and opioids."-said Timothy Richardson
Georgia's political leaders are working on an effort to save lives by improving the states prescription drug monitoring programs.
Many states are acting against opioid drug companies to combat the crisis by filing lawsuits.
Georgia has not yet but our neighboring state Alabama filed a suit against Perdue Pharmaceutical earlier this week.