Drug and alcohol addiction affects people in every state in the US. Across the country, opioid abuse continues to present at crisis levels. In the state of Texas, the numbers are lower than many other states but are still staggering. A look at addiction and recovery in the state of Texas reveals some intriguing facts as well as hopes for an encouraging future of prevention and treatment.
Addiction in Texas, by the Numbers
The good news is that Texas has one of the lowest rates of drug overdose deaths involving opioids. While the national rate in 2017 was 14.6 deaths per 100,000, in Texas the number was 5.1 deaths per 100,000 persons. Fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioids continue to pose a challenge throughout the state. The number of deaths involving fentanyl tripled in the 10-year period between 2007 and 2017 to 348. Deaths from heroin doubled in that same period, to 569. The highest number of deaths in 2017, 646, was attributed to prescription opioid addiction and abuse. Almost 11% of the population of Texas use illegal drugs and almost 4% of the population abuse alcohol. Among the most populous cities, El Paso had the lowest rate of deaths between 2008 and 2017, 11.09%, related to drug and alcohol addiction. The capitol city of Austin has the highest rate, at 17%, during that time period.
As a response to the growing opioid crisis, a number of prevention programs have been established and have proven effective. The State of Texas promotes a program called Drug Free Texas, targeted at youth, parents, and educators. The program offers information about:
- Drugs impacting Texas communities
- Consequences of use
- Warning signs
- Trends in Texas
- Common street names for drugs
- Where to go for help
The federal government has awarded Texas a State Opioid Response (SOR) grant to expand the Health and Human Services Commission’s (HHSC’s) response to the opioid crisis. In September 2018, Texas was awarded $46.2 million with an additional $24.1 million award in May 2019. Some of the prevention programs in Texas include:
- Prevention Resource Centers – providing substance use information, related behavioral health data, and other community resources within each of the HHSC Health Regions to children, youth, and adult populations
- Prescription drug take-back events
- Permanent prescription drug drop boxes and dissemination of medication disposal pouches
Treatment Available Regardless of Ability to Pay
For addicts, the cost of a recovery program can sometimes become one of the greatest hurdles to overcome when seeking treatment. Many recovery programs, such as those available at BRC Recovery, offer payment options for those clients who are not eligible for insurance coverage, believing that cost should never be an obstacle to receiving quality treatment. The State of Texas has also recognized the potential financial barriers for low-income addicts. In addition to the grant funding, which goes toward both prevention and treatment of drug addiction, HHSC added to state Medicaid benefits a comprehensive substance use disorder treatment benefit for adults in January 2011.
Medically Supervised Detox
Detoxification is often the first step in the recovery process. Medically supervised detox can cleanse the body of addictive substances such as drugs or alcohol while monitoring for potential medical complications. Medication is typically administered to the addict during detox to alleviate any physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that occur during the process. In 2019, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission made changes to the Texas Medicaid Preferred Drug List to include extended-release injectable naltrexone, combination buprenorphine and naloxone sublingual tablets, and combination buprenorphine and naloxone buccal film as preferred options in the Opiate Dependence Treatments class. While these medications may not be necessary, the Texas Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board has taken the steps necessary to ensure they are available during recovery from opioid addiction. At BRC Recovery, we administer medications only as appropriate as part of the addict’s detox. Our focus is on the goal of permanent recovery from addiction. We understand that detox can be an emotional and uncertain time so we our dedicated case managers work as recovery advocates to help our clients transition successfully through to the next phase of treatment. Contact BRC Recovery to Learn About Detox and Recovery from Addiction At BRC Recovery, we understand the challenges of addiction and recovery in Texas. We believe that everyone can find a better path if they truly want it for themselves. If you want to find out more about our services, please call BRC Recovery 1-866-461-1759 to speak to our team.