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Drug Addiction in Texas
Drug Treatment Centers Texas

Heroin, prescription painkillers and crystal meth are categorized as “street drugs” that are both illegal and pose a risk for addiction. These drugs can be found in urban, suburban and rural areas across the country. Addiction to these drugs causes untold damage to careers, relationships and health. Drug addiction in Texas is a growing problem that requires professional treatment to help individuals regain control over their lives and become productive people again.

What Is Drug Abuse?

Drugs are sold “on the street” for the purpose of abuse. They are generally processed or synthesized in underground labs and distributed in illegal networks across the country. Individuals with street drug addiction in Texas commonly purchase them from pushers in the neighborhood.  Often these drugs are used in social settings, and individuals are introduced to the drugs through friends who also use them.

Why Are Drugs So Addictive?

Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crystal meth are highly addictive because they produce changes in brain chemistry that can last for a long time. The normal neurotransmitter chemicals the brain produces to cause feelings of pleasure or well-being are disrupted by these drugs. The “feel good” chemicals are no longer produced naturally, and the individual must rely on the drugs to produce good feelings, using them over and over again. Research suggests that a number of factors are involved in addiction, such as genetics, psychological makeup and environmental conditions that make availability and use of the drug easier.

 

Commonly Abused Drugs in Texas

In Texas, alcohol and marijuana are commonly abused substances. Street drugs, such as heroin, crack cocaine and crystal meth have become a growing problem in many communities, and many individuals become addicted, causing a variety of social problems. Professional treatment is often necessary to help these individual overcome their addiction.

Heroin

Heroin is a derivative of morphine, which is made from opium, an extract of the dried seedpods of poppy plants. It is processed into a white or brownish powder that can be snorted, smoked or injected. Heroin produces a warm euphoria that can be intensely pleasurable. The federal government has designated as a Schedule I drug that is highly addictive. Signs of addiction include drowsiness, confusion, slurred speech, lack of focus, lack of personal grooming and track marks from needle use. Long-term use of heroin can cause vein collapse, blood infections, immune system disruption, cardiovascular disease and acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases from risky behavior.

Cocaine

Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the Central and South American coca plant. It is processed into a white powder form or a crystalline rock form called “crack.” Cocaine is a stimulant drug that produces talkativeness, increased energy and a feeling of euphoric confidence. The federal government designated cocaine as a Schedule II drug with a high risk for addiction. Cocaine produces increased heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Crystal Meth

Methamphetamine is a synthetic compound produced in drug labs out of commonly found chemicals. It has a crystalline appearance, which may be white or bluish. The federal government designated methamphetamine as a Schedule II drug with a high potential for abuse and addiction. Crystal meth produces euphoria with high energy and a feeling of confidence. Long-term use can cause heart problems and stroke, psychotic reactions, aggressiveness and suicidal thoughts.

 

How Professional Treatment Can Help

Professional treatment can provide support during the detox process to help patients prepare for their individualized treatment program of therapy to overcome addiction. Many patients have underlying mental health conditions that contribute to their substance abuse, which can be diagnosed and treated to help them succeed in recovery. Individual therapy, group therapy, family counseling and other therapies help patients to understand their motivations for substance use. Cognitive behavioral therapy allows them to explore their negative thought patterns and develop new behaviors to achieve positive outcomes. Patients must also learn to recognize the unique “triggers’ that drive them to substance use, so that they can develop strategies to counteract these incidents.

Statistics on Drug Addiction

According to a U.S. government report done on substance abuse trends in Texas in 2014, the use of heroin is a growing problem in the state of Texas. In 2013, 13 percent of Texas residents admitted into treatment programs reported heroin as their primary drug of choice. The number of heroin users under the age of 30 increased from 40 percent of those seeking treatment 2005 to 52 percent in 2013. Cocaine use, in both powder and rock forms, accounted for 11 percent of government treatment programs in 2013. That year saw 411 people die of cocaine poisoning in the state. The report also noted increasing use of methamphetamine, processed in Mexico, which was coming across the border.

 

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Treatment for heroin addiction begins with removing the drug from the patient’s system in detox. The withdrawal symptoms when quitting heroin use can be severe and can include chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue, depression and seizures. Inpatient facilities can offer medical support to reduce the severity of symptoms and reduce cravings to improve patients’ ability to succeed in treatment.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Treatment for cocaine starts with detox, which can produce tremors, depression, anxiety and seizures. Therapy then focuses on contingency management and motivation incentives, with rewards for positive behavior. Some success is reducing cravings is being achieved with use gamma-aminobutyric acid compounds to help restore normal brain chemistry.

Treatment for Crystal Meth Addiction

Patients being treated for crystal meth addiction must first undergo detoxification to remove the drug from their bodies. Symptoms include depression, anxiety, psychotic reactions and suicidal thoughts. These patients respond well to motivational incentives that provide a reward system for positive behaviors that support their recovery.

Getting Help for Addiction

Individuals who are addicted to street drugs in Texas often find the prospect of getting treatment intimidating. They dread the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and doubt whether therapy can produce results that will return them to normal life. Professional treatment has helped thousands of individuals overcome addiction, and these patients have been able to continue their recovery, enjoying healthy, happy lives. The decision to get treatment is an important one and can be the first step to changing your life.

Street drug addiction can devastate lives, but treatment is available that can return individual’s to normalcy with time. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, contact an addiction specialist today to learn how professional therapies can help you overcome this devastating disease.