If there is one word that sums up Texas, it’s “big.” Texas is the second most populous state in the U.S. and the second largest state in terms of size. Not only does the state border several U.S. states, but it also borders international states from Mexico. Texas is home to some of the nation’s largest cities, including San Antonio, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth. Even though Texas is often recognized for its warmth and Southern hospitality, the Lone Star state has its fair share of drug and alcohol problems.

At The River Source, we’ve worked with many Texans who have battled addictions to drugs and alcohol. Marijuana and cocaine are the primary illicit drugs that Texas residents enter treatment for, and this is a major obstacle because of the international border with Mexico. In order to remove themselves from the growing drug culture and find the peace and seclusion that is needed for recovery, many Texans choose The River Source to get clean and sober.

Why Addiction is Prevalent in Texas

When speaking with our Texas patients, we find that the biggest reason for why there are so many drug problems in the state is because of its prime location for drug trafficking. Drugs that are going into the Midwest, Southeast and East come into the U.S. through Texas. There are several large transshipment points that include the Big Bend Corridor and the El Paso Corridor. For the most part, it’s Mexicans that dominate the smuggling of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and meth while the Western portions of the state are gateways for narcotics.

It’s true that under Barack Obama, border patrol has doubled over the past few years, but that doesn’t stop drug smugglers from getting illegal substances into the state. They just have to be more creative, and the expanse of the Texas landscape allows drug traffickers to manage large warehouses and secretly move large quantities of drugs as discreetly as possible.

How Does Texas Compare to Other States?

Even with its international borders to Mexico, Texas has lower rates of drug abuse and drug-related deaths compared to the national population. According to a 2007-2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 6 percent of Texans reported using illicit drugs in the past month, compared to the national average of 8 percent. Furthermore, 3.3 percent of Texas residents reported using drugs other than marijuana in the past month, which is slightly lower than the national average of 3.58.

In terms of drug-related deaths, there were 2,343 persons who died as a result of drugs in 2007 in the state of Texas, which accounts for 9.8 per 100,000 persons. The national average is 12.7 per 100,000 persons, making Texas significantly lower in this category. Nevertheless, those who struggle with addiction struggle severly since there is a steady supply of cocaine, heroin, meth, and marijuana coming into the state.

A Close Look at the Numbers

Below is the percentage of the Texas population using and/or abusing drugs.

Illicit Drugs Age 18+
Past Month Illicit Drug Use 1 6.36%
Past Year Marijuana Use 7.50%
Past Month Marijuana Use 4.10%
Past Month Use of Illicit Drugs other than Marijuana 1 3.79%
Past Year Cocaine Use 2.34%
Past Year Non-medical Pain Reliever Use 4.43%
Alcohol Age 18+
Past Month Alcohol Use 51.71%
Past Month Binge Alcohol Use 2 24.53%
Past Year Dependence, Abuse & Treatment Age 18+
Illicit Drug Dependence 1 1.84%
Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse 2.51%
Alcohol Dependence 3.48%
Alcohol Dependenceor Abuse 7.50%
Alcohol or Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse 1 8.84%
Needing but not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug Use 1, 3 2.21%
Needing but not Receiving Treatment for Alcohol Use 3 7.31%
1 – Illicit Drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-like psychotherapeutics that are used non-medically. Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana include cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-like psychotherapeutics that are used non-medically.2 – Binge alcohol is defined as drinking five or more drinks in the same setting on at least one day in the past 30 days.3 – Needing But Not Receiving Treatment refers to the respondents needing treatment for illicit drug or alcohol use but not seeking specific treatment at a facility.y4 – Major Depressive Episode is defined as having a period of at least 2 weeks where a person experienced a depressed state of mind or loss of interest in daily activities. They also have the symptoms listed in the DSM-IV.

Source: National Survey on Drug Use & Health, 2004 and 2005, SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies

Serious Psychological Distress 10.69%

Why Texas Residents Should Seek Treatment in Arizona

For those battling the long road of drug addiction, it’s important to remove themselves from their current environment and get a fresh start. That’s why The River Source is a great option for Texans struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Our urban location is ideal for those who don’t want to leave behind the big-city feel while our rural facility offers privacy and seclusion away from city life. With a warm, sunny climate similar to Texas and a close location to family, The River Source is the perfect place for Texans to begin their journey to recovery.