Georgia health care had more than its share of drama and surprises in 2013. Some of the big stories were linked to the Affordable Care Act. This far-reaching federal law, passed in early 2010, was still generating changes and attracting controversy as if it were brand new. But the ACA wasn’t the only hot topic in Georgia health. Issues ranged from drug scares to complex policy disputes and funding battles.
Dakota Dyer was a good student, a starting defensive end on his Bremen, Ga., football team, and had no history of mental illness or drug abuse, his father says. But in March 2012, Dakota, 14, was repeatedly asked on Facebook to try a “new legal weed,’’ says his father, Lance Dyer. Dakota finally tried the synthetic marijuana, which medical experts say can lead to paranoia or hallucinations. He then committed suicide.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation officials say a synthetic drug linked to several hospitalizations in coastal Georgia has been declared as a controlled substance. Agency spokeswoman Sherry Lang says officials had a strain of synthetic marijuana named "Crazy Clown" tested at its crime lab in Savannah and found a new synthetic cannabinoid.
Georgia is cracking down on new forms of synthetic marijuana. At the request of Gov. Nathan Deal, the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy has adopted an emergency rule classifying newly discovered compounds of synthetic marijuana as controlled substances.
The West Virginia Attorney General's Office is going to court in an attempt to stop a Georgia company from distributing chemical ingredients used to illegally make designer drugs in the state. Attorney General Darrell McGraw announced Monday that a lawsuit has been filed in Putnam County Circuit Court against Nutragenomics LLC of Alpharetta, Ga.
Narcotics agents in Savannah and Chatham County have begun hand-delivering letters to more than 200 gas stations, convenience stores and other businesses, warning them that some over-the-counter items have been banned under state and federal laws.