Texas Drug Abuse: The State of Texas Drug Rehabs

There are ever changing treatment admission shifts throughout the country and Texas is no different. One of the major contributors to the Texas drug abuse problem is the importation of drugs across the border and with Mexican drug cartels continually struggling to gain dominance over supplying the US with drugs, a decrease does not look promising.

Texas holds a population over 23 million people and has an ever shifting climate when it comes drug abuse and addiction treatment admission. As with other states, the amount of addicts entering Texas drug rehab centers not only shifting from one drug to another, but rising as well. The major problem with Texas is not only the large number of people, but the drugs being brought from out neighbors to the South.

Illicit drugs continue to enter from Mexico through cities such as El Paso, Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville, as well as through smaller towns along the border. The drugs then move northward for distribution through Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston. In addition, drugs move eastward from San Diego through Lubbock and from El Paso to Amarillo and Dallas/Ft Worth.

Cocaine has long since been a problem in Texas, but the substance abuse treatment trends as reported by the University of Texas show treatment admissions dropped from 32 percent in 1998 to 18 percent ten years later. Cocaine abuse among the high school student population dropped as well which should indicate the future of cocaine treatment admissions. One of the alarming things about cocaine abusers was that powder cocaine inhalers averaged 11 years between first regular use and entrance to treatment, while injectors averaged 17 years of use.

Heroin treatment admissions rose in 2008 and 2009, with more indications of growing heroin abuse among teenagers and young adults. Outreach workers in Houston reported an increase in heroin use. While the number of individuals who inhale heroin was small, the lag period between first use and seeking treatment for this group was 7 years, compared with 14 years for injectors. “Cheese heroin,” a mixture of Tylenol PM® and heroin (heroin combined with diphenhydramine and acetaminophen), continues to be a problem in Dallas, and heroin inhaling is increasing across the State.

The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), reports that there are 459 drug and alcohol treatment programs in the state of Texas who serve more than 34,500 people at a time. Unfortunately, more than 95 percent of these clients attend outpatient programs, which have been documented to not be as successful as inpatient facilities, and only 3 percent were enrolled in a long-term residential rehabilitation center.

When searching Texas drug rehabs, long term drug rehabs provide a much higher chance of success. There are many alternative treatment options out there but to find these requires a private pay facility. A drug program of three months or longer that focuses on helping the individual restore personal responsibility with drug-free methods.

Lee Otis is an addiction treatment professional and contributing editor to Addiction Treatment Watch which provides information to individuals and families throughout the country on addiction treatment and drug rehabilitation

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