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Once an independent republic, Texas gets its nickname of the “Lone Star State” from the star on the 1836 flag of the Republic of Texas. The lone star is also a reminder of the state’s struggle for independence from Mexico as it was their flag at the time of their independence. The Texas-Mexico border comprises 1,254 miles of the 1,900-mile-long U.S.- Mexico border, making it a prominent state for illegal drug trafficking from Mexico and Central America.
Like many other states, Texas has citizens who suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. In 2003, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that over 47% of people age 12 and over in Texas used alcohol in the past month. 58% of people 18-25 used alcohol in the past month in Texas. In the same survey, 24% of people in Texas consumed alcohol at a binge level, which is five or more drinks of an alcoholic beverage at a time. People in Texas ages 12-17 drank at a binge level 10% in the last month. In the entire state, 7.62% of the total population abused alcohol in the last year.
According to a Department of Justice report, drugs are easily obtainable in Texas, and the powder form of cocaine is commonly abused in the state of Texas. However, crack cocaine is only available in the more urban areas of Texas. Heroin is especially a threat to Texas including homegrown varieties and Mexican, South American, Southeast Asian and Southwest Asian varieties.
By far, the most commonly used illegal substance in Texas is marijuana. The main supplier of marijuana to Texas is Mexico. Domestically grown marijuana is also available in Texas to a lesser degree. Methamphetamine abuse is also a problem in Texas, with the majority of meth coming from Mexico. There is pure and affordable methamphetamine produced within the state though.
Another popular illicit drug in Texas is MDMA. Also known as ecstasy, MDMA is a psychoactive drug primarily used for the feeling of energy and empathy it creates. MDMA also alters the addict’s perception of time and reality. It is readily available in Texas and is frequently abused state-wide. The main sellers of club drugs like MDMA are middle-class, suburban youth. These drugs are typically sold at nightclubs, raves, and college campuses. Dextromethorphan (DXM) abuse has also been reported in schools in Texas.
Other substances with a wide market in Texas are diverted pharmaceuticals. These include oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, hydromorphone, and codeine. Improper prescription processes like doctor shopping and pharmacy diversion are primary sources of these drugs. Texas also reports a steady increase of Oxycodone. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2002), 1.74% of Texas citizens reported in the past year their dependence on illicit drugs.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Drug and alcohol addiction is a miserable and excruciating disease to endure. Millions of people across the country suffer from substance abuse addiction, and their friends and loved ones are also affected by their disease. Some addicts may be in denial of their addiction, or may not be aware of the severity of their abuse. Many warning signs of addiction don’t present themselves until the addict is fully entrapped in the grip of addiction. It also takes courage and humility for an addict to reach out for help or rehabilitation. Rehabilitation (rehab) is the process designed to help addicts understand their addiction, learn the means of recognizing triggers that can cause them to use, and learn to live a healthy life as an addict in recovery. There are many aspects of rehab, including psychological, physical, medical, social and emotional. Within rehab, there are a wide variety of treatments that recovering addicts can receive. These include: individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, cognitive-behavior therapy, inpatient & outpatient care, 12-step programs, and even equine and yoga therapies. The preeminent treatment centers offer all of these treatments as well as detoxification, custom-made treatment plans, and aftercare programs for those willing to start their journey to recovery.
Do You Need an Intervention?
For these substance abusers who may not realize that their dependency is problematic, or for those who oppose treatment, the first step towards recovery is often an intervention. Friends, loved ones and family members now have a weapon in the battle of their loved one’s addiction: The ability to stage an intervention for them. An intervention is a gathering of friends, loved ones and family members to convince the addict to find help for their substance abuse. An intervention styles can be confrontational or non-confrontational, and should be non-judgmental, and based on love, compassion and care. Many times, substance abusers aren’t even aware of the harm they have caused their friends and loved ones. Interventions are effective at making the addict aware of the harms they have caused, and this on its own can be enough to compel the addict to seek help. We always recommend utilizing a certified interventionist to facilitate your intervention, but if one isn’t available near your home in Texas, give us a call and our intake specialists will walk you through the process of creating your own intervention. If you are concerned about backlash from the substance abuser, or creating a potential conflict with them through an intervention, talk to our specialists, and we’ll recommend communication tactics and approaches to avoid confrontation.
What is Detox?
A period of detoxification, or detox, is detox is required for most substance abusers before they are able to start their rehabilitation. Detox is a medically managed process that cleanses toxins from the system of the addict, and helps them cope with their withdrawal symptoms. Some addicts will need certain medication or an I.V. for nutrition and hydration. Detox is vital to those who have become addicted to opiates and alcohol as withdrawal from these substances can be deadly without proper medical assistance. Be careful not to confuse detox with rehab or therapy. It isn’t a therapy per se, it is only meant to prepare addicts to start their therapy and rehab.
Who Needs Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
Whether someone has just started using mind-altering substances, or they have been chemically dependent on drugs and alcohol for years, all habitual users can benefit from rehab. Many treatment facilities offer rehab for the following substances: Opiates (codeine, heroin), prescribed drugs (hydrocodone, pharmaceuticals, oxycodone), crystal meth, hallucinogens, cocaine, designer drugs, alcohol and marijuana. By analyzing the nature of substance abuse, evaluating psychological issues, and creating the most effective treatment plans for each client, we can provide the most successful rehabilitation and aftercare programs.
How Drugs & Alcohol Affect the Mind
When a person abuses mind-altering substances, the brain releases “feel good” neuro-transmitters.. These may be dopamine or endorphins (or both). They are the natural chemicals that the brain releases to give provide us with pleasure and natural highs. Drugs and alcohol prompt an increased release of these, and some drugs will prompt an extremely high level of neuro-transmitters to release, providing a sustained high over many hours to the addict. The brain also remembers this pleasure and re-wires itself to compel the user to continue the substance abuse. This process is the basis of addiction. Often times, the body will stop production of the natural dopamine and endorphins when it detects the high levels of them in the system from drugs and alcohol. When an addict stops using, they have no natural neuro-transmitters in their brain, which can result in depression and withdrawal.
What is Aftercare?
Our specialists highly recommend enrolling in aftercare upon your completion of rehab. Also known as continuing care, aftercare is a stage of treatment where recovering addicts can transition back to the “real world” while reducing the chances of relapse. Aftercare can include residential housing, half-way houses, or inpatient or outpatient care programs. Additional advantages include community engagement and limited interaction with professionals to transition the recovering addict back into the work force.
Drug and Alcohol Use in Texas
Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure for substance abuse addiction, like there is for other diseases. However, addicts who receive treatment at accredited and certified treatment programs regularly find success in recovery for their abuse. In addition to medically proven therapies, additional treatments exist in the areas of physical and recreational activities, behavioral modeling, participation in 12-step meetings, as well as inpatient & outpatient facilities.
Many recovering addicts also find it helpful to have sponsors who have succeeded in their own recovery. There’s a saying among recovering addicts that if you’re going through a maze, the best way out is with someone who knows the way out.
If you or someone you know is struggling from alcohol or drug abuse, or if you would like more information regarding drug and alcohol rehab programs, interventions, or addiction in general, give us a call at (512) 253-1535.