Illegal drugs and their abuse plague every part of the country, and Texas is no exception. Specifically, cocaine and meth are the main culprits, but with other substance abuse in Texas, the opioid epidemic is just getting worse.

This issue is much more deeply rooted. According to a report by the North Texas Community Health Collaborative, 11 counties in this region have an average of drug-induced deaths at 965.6 per 100,000 people against the state average of 699.9 per 100,000 residents. 

Here are the 6 most abused drugs in Texas:

1. Methamphetamine

Meth abuse is growing at an alarming rate in the state of Texas. This dangerous drug can kill due to overdosing. Meth from the super-labs of Mexico is flooding the streets and markets in the state.

As a result, the number of meth-induced deaths increased dangerously between 2010 and 2014. The problem isn’t even restricted to urban centers only. It affects the rural areas on the southern border, as well.

  • Meth took nearly 577 lives in 2016, and this was a steep rise from 15 deaths in 1999.
  • In 2017, there were about 715 deaths due to overdose of meth, while meth seizures increased by 103% since 2013 in Texas.
  • 0.7% of Texans used methamphetamine in 2018, per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 

2. Marijuana

In the Lone Star state, marijuana is easily available and turning into an epidemic rather quickly. Increased trafficking from across the borders and supplies from the states where it’s legalized are also leading to growing teenage drug use in Texas.

Use of marijuana among youth is terrifying with figures like these:

  • A survey in 2016 showed that nearly 20% of Texan students tried marijuana at some point in their lives while 12% admitted usage in the previous month. 
  • Every year, the state spends $700 million to fight low-level possession of marijuana. 
  • Introduction of blunt cigars and cannabis vaping play a pivotal role in increasing its abuse to epidemic proportions.

3. Heroin

The proliferation of black tar and brown powdered heroin from Mexico borders is creeping in in Texas. The number of heroin users has tripled in the past decade. But, the most concerning trend is increasing use among youth and teenagers.

Heroin isn’t just easily available on the streets, but at prices that are pretty low. See these stats to understand the gravity of this epidemic:

  • The number of heroin-involved deaths increased from 214 in 2007 to 569 in 2017.
  • Heroin ranks fourth among the top 25 items seized in Texas and reported to NFLIS.
  • Calls involving heroin increased to 307 in 2013, and the average age of victims was 36 years.

4. Cocaine

Crack and synthetic cannabinoids are the most abused substances in Texas, especially among the homeless. Low stigma to inhaling powdered cocaine is inducing people to snort the white powder, as well.

With more seizures near the Mexico border, cocaine abuse may spike more in the future. Look at some Texas drug abuse statistics to estimate the severity of its misuse:

  • 1.47% of residents in the age groups 12 and up used cocaine in Texas in 2016.
  • In 2018, 886 cocaine-induced deaths rocked the state while the poison centers received around 445 calls involving cocaine in the same year.

5. Alcohol

As per a report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol is one of the most abused drugs in Texas, especially among youth. Teenage drinking is on a record high. 

Nearly 25% of students in middle and high school admit binge drinking in the past month. And 58% of these teenagers report alcohol consumption at least once in their life.

  • In 2018, nearly 156 fatalities happened due to underage drinking.
  • Every year, over a million people aged 12 years and up need alcohol abuse treatment in the state. Out of 16,165 admissions in 2018, two-thirds were male, half in the age group of 26-44 years.

6. Opioids

The misuse of prescription opioids is devastating for many families in Texas. The scourge of opioid issues in Texas is getting worse, and overdose is increasing here. In 2016, there were 1375 opioid-overdose deaths in the state.

Though Texas has one of the lowest rates of opioid-induced deaths, the rise of synthetic varieties like Fentanyl is disturbing.  

  • The number of overdose deaths by Fentanyl increased from 142 to 176 in 2015-16. These casualties also involved other opiates or Benzodiazepines. 
  • Nearly 5% of students in Texas schools reported the use of prescription opioids in 2016 for on-medical purposes.

Explore Treatment Options for Substance Abuse in Texas

Undoubtedly, the rate of substance abuse in Texas is concerning to human health. But, as it turns out, by choosing the right treatment options, there is hope for recovery.

The first step to addiction recovery is looking for a rehab center near you that offers holistic treatment. With a personalized plan and medically-supervised detox, counselors and doctors at the facility will help you to cope with withdrawal symptoms.

Don’t give up on recovery. Find a stable and healthy life by getting help at the right time. 



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