Cobb’s Opioid Abatement Advisory Council held its first meeting

drawing of capsules or pills and bottle

Cobb’s Opioid Abatement Advisory Council held its first meeting. 

The purpose of the group is to determine how the county should spend the proceeds from lawsuit settlements over the opioid epidemic.

The council was formed by a vote of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners in April, and according to its web page:

The Council will:

(1) Recommend a comprehensive abatement strategy to the Board of Commissioners that aligns with the Core Strategies, Approved Uses, and Other Strategies identified in the National Opioid Settlements;

(2) Convene as required, ensuring at least one meeting per quarter, and provide updates to the Board of Commissioners annually and whenever the Board requests;

(3) Consist of the following members:

  • A designee of the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, as appointed by the Sheriff
  • A member of the executive team of a Community Service Board, as appointed by that Community Service Board and approved by the Board of Commissioners
  • A member of the Cobb County Board of Health, as appointed by the Cobb County Board of Health and approved by the Board of Commissioners
  • An academic member who works for the University System of Georgia within Cobb County as appointed by the Board of Commissioners
  • A survivor of the disease of addiction or a family member who has lost a loved one to the disease as appointed by the Board of Commissioners for a term not to exceed two (2) years
  • A substance use disorder treatment provider within Cobb County licensed by the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) as appointed by the Board of Commissioners
  • A designee of the Cobb County Superior Court, as appointed by the Chief Judge
  • A non-voting member from the Department of Public Safety appointed by the Cobb County Manager.

(4) The Deputy County Manager shall serve as an ex-officio member, providing insight and guidance without holding voting rights;

(5) The committee has no power to incur debt or contractually bind Cobb County. 

(6) Committee members will receive no compensation.

The opioid epidemic hit Cobb County particularly hard, with many overdose deaths driven by the mixing of the powerful opioid fentanyl with other drugs.

According to the news release about the meeting:

Nick Adams, Cobb’s Chief EMS Officer, told the group that Cobb had led the state in opioid-related deaths. Cobb County has already received more than $5.2 million, with millions more expected over the next two decades. The council will advise the Board of Commissioners on the potential uses for this money, which must address the costs of the opioid epidemic. They will look at programs that include prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and research and remediation components.

The council will meet quarterly – more often if necessary. For more information, visit

About Cobb County

Cobb County is the third most populous county in Georgia, smaller only than Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

Early History

The county was established in 1832, is named after Thomas Willis Cobb, a U.S. Congressman, Senator, and Supreme Court judge. Cobb was formed from a portion of Cherokee County.

Marietta, the county seat, was incorporated in 1834, becoming a vital center for trade and governance. 

Government Structure

The governance of Cobb County is anchored by the Board of Commissioners, consisting of a Chairman and four Commissioners. Each member is elected—the Chairwoman at large and the Commissioners from their respective districts. This body holds the dual role of enacting county policies and overseeing the administration of county services. The Chairwoman also has specific duties, such as presiding over board meetings and acting as the official county spokesperson.

Key Departments and Services

Cobb County’s government is organized into departments focusing on different aspects of community life. These include Public Safety, which encompasses police and fire services; Transportation, tasked with maintaining and improving roadways and public transit; Community Development, which handles zoning and land use; and Parks and Recreation, which manages public parks and community centers. Each department aims to fulfill its responsibilities efficiently, though effectiveness can vary based on funding, policy decisions, and community needs.

The current board is:

ChairwomanLisa Cupid
District 1 CommissionerKeli Gambrill
District 2 CommissionerJerica Richardson
District 3 Commissioner JoAnn Birrell
District 4 Commissioner Monique Sheffield

The U.S. Census Bureau gives the following quick facts about the county:

Population Estimates, July 1 2021, (V2021)766,802
Population estimates base, April 1, 2020, (V2021)766,149
Population, percent change – April 1, 2020 (estimates base) to July 1, 2021, (V2021)0.1%
Population, Census, April 1, 2020766149
Population, Census, April 1, 2010688078
Age and Sex
Persons under 5 years, percent5.6%
Persons under 18 years, percent22.7%
Persons 65 years and over, percent13.3%
Female persons, percent51.3%
Race and Hispanic Origin
White alone, percent61.7%
Black or African American alone, percent(a)29.2%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent(a)0.5%
Asian alone, percent(a)5.7%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent(a)0.1%
Two or More Races, percent2.8%
Hispanic or Latino, percent(b)13.7%
White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent50.2%
Population Characteristics
Veterans, 2016-202040562
Foreign born persons, percent, 2016-202015.6%
Housing units, July 1, 2021, (V2021)311450
Owner-occupied housing unit rate, 2016-202065.8%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2016-2020$273,900
Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2016-2020$1,672
Median selected monthly owner costs -without a mortgage, 2016-2020$474
Median gross rent, 2016-2020$1,264
Building permits, 20213247
Families & Living Arrangements
Households, 2016-2020283359
Persons per household, 2016-20202.63
Living in same house 1 year ago, percent of persons age 1 year+, 2016-202084.6%
Language other than English spoken at home, percent of persons age 5 years+, 2016-202020.5%
Computer and Internet Use
Households with a computer, percent, 2016-202097.2%
Households with a broadband Internet subscription, percent, 2016-202093.3%
High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2016-202092.6%
Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2016-202048.4%
With a disability, under age 65 years, percent, 2016-20206.2%
Persons without health insurance, under age 65 years, percent13.8%
In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2016-202069.6%
In civilian labor force, female, percent of population age 16 years+, 2016-202064.3%
Total accommodation and food services sales, 2017 ($1,000)(c)2056579
Total health care and social assistance receipts/revenue, 2017 ($1,000)(c)5569500
Total transportation and warehousing receipts/revenue, 2017 ($1,000)(c)1536858
Total retail sales, 2017 ($1,000)(c)18543691
Total retail sales per capita, 2017(c)$24,615
Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16 years+, 2016-202031.2
Income & Poverty
Median household income (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$80,830
Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$41,480
Persons in poverty, percent9.2%
Total employer establishments, 202021492
Total employment, 2020358927
Total annual payroll, 2020 ($1,000)21780372
Total employment, percent change, 2019-2020-0.3%
Total nonemployer establishments, 201986497
All employer firms, Reference year 201717066
Men-owned employer firms, Reference year 201710386
Women-owned employer firms, Reference year 20173537
Minority-owned employer firms, Reference year 20173058
Nonminority-owned employer firms, Reference year 201712177
Veteran-owned employer firms, Reference year 20171204
Nonveteran-owned employer firms, Reference year 201713909
Population per square mile, 20202254.8
Population per square mile, 20102026.4
Land area in square miles, 2020339.78
Land area in square miles, 2010339.55