Heavily populated areas can translate to heavy substance abuse and drug crimes; however, there are a lot of addiction treatment programs in Texas to guide people to a successful lifelong recovery. We know that it can be tough to have a positive outlook when you’re dealing with an addiction, but there is hope.
Have you ever known someone who’s the most likeable person until they get a couple drinks in them? Then when confronted about their drinking, they agree and tell you they’re going to quit, but you have a gut feeling that they aren’t. Please don’t give up on them, they need more help than you think. Who knows? Maybe you’re that person and nobody can understand why you don’t quit–especially once your life spins out of control. Maybe you’ve lost your job or your spouse, maybe you’ve even been to jail a couple times because of your drinking or drugging.
Sometimes, for a person in the throes of addiction, quitting isn’t just a simple act or change of behavior and even if that person is full of good intentions, what they suffer from is a phenomenon of craving, or obsession with a drug. “In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so” (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
A person suffering from addiction may:
Texas is well known for its sports teams, its barbecue, its belt buckles and its landmass; Texas is the All-American state. Unfortunately, “The Lone Star State” is also a target for a large percentage of drugs smuggled into the United States. “The Texas-Mexico border makes up 1,254 miles of the 1,900-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border” (Texas Tribune). With this in mind, think of the thousands of people who get caught smuggling drugs in Texas, or worse think about the people who don’t get caught.
It’s true, according to the United States Sentencing Commission, of 22,215 criminal cases of drug trafficking, 2,866 involved Texas (Western District of Texas and Southern District of Texas). In 2013, Texas was ranked both first and third for Top Five Districts Drug Trafficking Offenders (Southern District of California was ranked second with 1,426). In 2009 the Texas and Mexican border was a destination for a vast majority of cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana smuggled into the United States, excluding MDMA (U.S. Department of Justice).
Texas is home to a wide variety of mental health problems including substance use disorders, addiction and alcoholism. Right on the border of Mexico, Texas is one of the first U.S. states to receive the illicit drugs being smuggled onto U.S. soil. Due to this, hundreds of thousands are being packed into Texas federal penitentiaries and as of December 2015, the Texas prison population was 163,909 people. The number of new drug users and people suffering from addiction is growing exponentially each year, and about 46.6 percent of inmates are incarcerated in the United States for a drug related crime.
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant which can lead to manic behavior, heart failure, overdose and death. It typically comes in a white powder form, but it can also come in an off-white rock substance known as crack. Cocaine and crack addiction can take control of the user’s life and cause them to do tragic and unlawful things. Cocaine is expensive, and a gram can cost up to $100 dollars, but the biggest cost of the drug is life. Texas “deaths involving cocaine increased from 321 in 1999 to 778 in 2006, before dropping to 411 in 2013” (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
Cocaine can be snorted, injected, or smoked (as either crack or powder). In 1998, 4 percent of students in grades 7-12 reported having used cocaine, but that number increased to 9.4 percent by 2011. Medical intervention, detox and rehab treatment are often necessary for recovery from cocaine addiction.
Methamphetamine (Meth) can be smoked, injected, snorted or taken as a suppository, although smoking the drug is the most common form of use. Meth is smuggled into the United States as a liquid, and then turned into what is known as “ice,” which is a common slang term for meth. “Methamphetamine and amphetamine admissions to treatment programs (in Texas) increased from 3 percent of all admissions in 1995 to 13 percent in 2005, dropped to 8 percent in 2009, and then rose to 13 percent of admissions in 2013” (National Institute on Drug Abuse). From the same source, 59 percent of people who sought treatment were female (which isn’t typical of most drug categories).
Methamphetamine users are also more likely to be homeless or not employed full time. Meth addiction can often lead to meth mites, or a belief that there are bugs crawling underneath the skin, oftentimes use of meth can lead to overdose and death. Three-hundred forty-nine people died from psychostimulants, including methamphetamine and amphetamines in 2013.
Marijuana is often referred to as the “gateway drug” because it’s the first drug many people have access to. Unlike heroin, meth, and cocaine, marijuana doesn’t come with as serious of a stigma. The issue here is that a drug is a drug, and once a person becomes addicted to the high that it produces, they are more likely to try something more potent. In 2011, 41 percent of Texas high school students had smoked marijuana. Granted, this doesn’t always lead to other drug addictions, but marijuana addiction alone is behavior altering. In 2013, 23 percent of people going into treatment were seeking help for a marijuana addiction, this is a dramatic increase from 8 percent in 1995.
Marijuana potency has increased with medical grade marijuana on the rise from 20 even 10 years ago. The ways to use the drug have also somewhat changed and nowadays, a person can “dab,” eat, or smoke the drug. Some even prefer to take marijuana in a pill; and synthetic marijuana has become a cause for concern in Texas as well. One of the recent problems with marijuana is that it’s rapidly becoming decriminalized in the United States, therefore becoming addicted to it seems even more likely.
Prescription drugs are taking the nation by storm, whether they are prescribed or purchased on the street, they can be used to alleviate symptoms from pain all the way to depression. The problem with prescription drugs arises when a person becomes addicted and can’t stop using them, oftentimes using them for purposes other than the intended use. Prescription drugs have a wide variety of uses, but just for the simplicity of it we’ll stick to benzodiazepines and opioids.
Benzodiazepines are commonly referred to as “benzos” and can be used to treat a wide variety of anxiety disorders and depression. Benzos like Xanax, Valium, Klonopin and Rohypnol (which is not legal in the United States) were responsible for 55 Texas deaths in 1999, and 254 deaths in 2013.
Opioids are a type highly addictive painkillers, in the same family as heroin, and are highly addictive. When a person stops using them after a prolonged period, they are likely to have serious withdrawal symptoms which can be so intense that they relapse. In 2011, 22 percent of Texas high school students reported taking prescription painkillers to “get high.”
The first step to recovery is to admit there is a problem, but sometimes narrowing down the search results can be a task on its own. Before choosing the right treatment facility, it helps to define your needs, and by doing so, you’ll be able to come up with a more definite approach to drug and alcohol treatment. Treatment is more available that you might think and even if you can’t afford it “out of pocket,” there are government grants, insurance coverage, sliding fees, and loans available. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 16.4 percent of the Texas state budget is spent on addiction and substance abuse.
At the Treehouse, you’ll be given an opportunity to open your mind to the possibilities of an addiction-free lifestyle. Freedom from the outside world for 30 to 90 days work as your ally as you experience recovery and a substance free life. If you or a person you love is dealing with an addiction, there is hope. Get help now by reaching out to one of our caring professionals call 1-866-332-7439 Living a sober life is always better than struggling with an addiction, or dying with an addiction. It takes healing of the mind to beat addiction.