Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Texas: Trends and Treatment Options
Over the past several years, there has been an increase in the number of drug-related deaths as well as other worrisome trends in the United States. Overdose deaths have increased dramatically over the past decade, especially since 2011. While every state has challenges when it comes to battling substance abuse, Texas has some unique concerns. According to research conducted by The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, alcohol is the primary drug of abuse in Texas, but opioids are the leading cause of drug poisoning deaths.
There is a prescription opioid crisis in the United States. Recently, overdoses from prescription drugs eclipsed motor vehicle collisions as the leading cause of accidental death. Additionally, prescription opioids are fairly easy to obtain legally; so widespread access is certainly a contributing factor. It’s important to note over the years that prescription opioid deaths have skyrocketed; opioid sales in the country have increased by a similar amount.
The reasons for this disturbing trend are many, and the most important things any state can do to mitigate the damage done by prescription opioid abuse and other types of drug abuse are increasing awareness, educating the public, and providing robust addiction treatment and counseling services. Texas also has geographical concerns with which to contend. Namely, the state’s shared border with Mexico is a popular crossing point for drugs from Mexican drug cartels entering the United States.
Though prescription opioids are the leading cause of accidental drug poisoning deaths in Texas, methamphetamine is the top cause of drug-related crime. DEA reports for 2013 and 2015 indicated a 37% increase in methamphetamine seizures. Methamphetamine is extremely addictive and results in very painful, disorienting withdrawal symptoms.
While prescription drugs are legal and more difficult for drug dealers to obtain (thereby making them more expensive for addicts to buy), heroin is widely available at a lower cost. Once individuals who become addicted to prescription opioids run out of refills for their prescriptions, heroin becomes an attractive, affordable alternative. Unfortunately, it is also deadlier. Heroin is uncontrolled, and dealers often mix other substances into their heroin to sell more volume. Recently, law enforcement started seizing heroin laced with Fentanyl, an extremely powerful synthetic opioid capable of producing effects up to one hundred times more intense than heroin.
Advocacy and Legislation
Texans have made several efforts to combat the disturbing trend of drug use in the state. An activist group dubbed the Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative (TONI) has stepped up to address the opioid crisis in the state’s capital city of Austin. Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1462 in 2015 to make Naloxone more accessible to those who need it. Naloxone is a low-cost and effective emergency medication that opioid addicts can use in the event of an overdose. Many other states have also pushed legislation to allow pharmacies to dispense Naloxone to anyone in need of it.
Despite these measures, drug abuse and the resulting overdose deaths remain serious problems for the people of Texas. While there are many treatment options available, some addicts in rural Texas may not be able to effectively commute to a recovery center or may require more robust treatment. Behavioral health is frequently related to addictive patterns and substance abuse, and some addicts need to ensure these “dual diagnosis” cases, are promptly and thoroughly addressed by experienced healthcare professionals.
Why Choose Florida?
Many addicts across the United States wind up traveling to “The Recovery State” for substance abuse treatment. Florida has earned this nickname by hosting one of the largest substance abuse recovery networks in the nation. Over the years, the enormous amount of cargo that has passed through Florida ports has more than likely supplied various illicit substances to the rest of the country. When new drugs enter the country, it is often in the form of “designer” drugs, or new combinations, and Florida law enforcement officers are often some of the first in the nation to encounter these substances and the ever-changing methods drug traffickers use to hide their shipments.
As the incidents of drug-related crime grew, so did the need for substance abuse treatment options. Part of the reason the prescription opioid crisis has gotten so bad in recent years is the fact that many patients with legitimate medical reasons for taking these medicines do not understand the risks of addiction inherent in opioids. Awareness and education are crucial – prevention is one of the best methods to fight substance abuse and prevent overdose deaths. Prevention is unfortunately not always an option, and individuals who become addicted need to have access to treatment in order to recover.
Texas addicts may not be able to find a suitable treatment center in the state and may find Florida to be the best alternative. Florida is now home to some of the most experienced, thoroughly researched, and scientifically founded treatment centers in the country after decades of dealing with substance abuse and drug crime. Addicts nationwide find that Florida substance abuse treatment options surpass any other state.
Choose Florida’s Best
The Treatment Center of the Palm Beaches, LLC wants to help every one of our patients lead healthier lives and overcome their substance abuse problems. Every case of addiction is different, and we develop comprehensive treatment plans based on each patient’s unique situation. The length of time an addict has been using, the drug of choice, the frequency of use and volume of use are all important factors in developing our treatment plans, but we also fully explore behavioral health concerns as well. “Dual diagnosis” cases are particularly troublesome, as it is much more difficult for an addict to recover from substance abuse while contending with unaddressed mental health issues.
Medically assisted detoxification is also essential to a safe recovery from many substances, especially opioids. Without proper medical treatment and supervision, the effects of opioid withdrawal can potentially be fatal or result in permanent complications. The Treatment Center offers the most cutting-edge equipment and techniques to ensure every patient has the safest detoxification experience possible. Our treatment plans encompass group therapy, continual care, and behavioral health services as well. We want to do everything we can to help you or your loved one achieve lifelong sobriety.