Texas Addiction Treatment Centers And Recovery Resources
Texas: Drug Gateway
The 1,254 miles of border with Mexico make Texas a big drug smuggling gateway. The Lone Star state is a gateway for illicit drugs going to the Midwest and East.
Drugs enter through El Paso, Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville, as well as through smaller towns along the border. Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston are the main distribution cities.
Cocaine and Crack Addiction
Powder cocaine goes by new names such as “soft”, “snow seal”, and “her”. Crack cocaine: “hard”, “cookie”, and “biscuit.”
For years, cocaine was the biggest problem for Texas addicts. Recently, however, cocaine use has declined. For example, deaths with cocaine involved dropped from 778 in 2006 to 496 in 2008. Admissions to treatment programs dropped to 18% in 2009 from 32% in 1995.
Additionally, high school cocaine usage has dropped over the last decade.
In 2009, 6,611 people were admitted to Texas treatment centers for cocaine abuse.
Club drugs like MDMA (ecstasy), Ketamine, LSD, and GHB are the most prevalent.
The most frequently abused club drug in Texas is ecstasy. Ecstasy is often used with other drugs to increase the high.
In 2008, nearly 10% of 12th graders reported having used ecstasy at least once.
The Texas Poison Center Network reported 23 calls involving misuse or abuse of ecstasy in 1998, compared with 310 in 2009.
In 2009, 1,350 ecstasy abusers were admitted to Texas treatment centers. The average patient was 24-years-old.
Black tar is the predominant form of heroin in Texas. The other is Mexican brown heroin. Mexican brown is black tar heroin that is cut with lactose and turned into powder to inject or inhale. All forms of heroin are snorted, injected, or smoked.
"Cheese heroin," a mixture of Tylenol PM and heroin, is a problem in Dallas with the youth. Kids as young as 9-years-old are showing up in emergency rooms for heroin withdrawal.
In 2009, 11,368 people were admitted to Texas treatment centers for heroin rehab. The average patient was 33-years-old. And 25% had prior treatment.
Meth or “crank” is a powdered methamphetamine that is sold in grams or ounces. Meth is smoked, injected, inhaled, or taken orally.
Problems with meth in Texas peaked in 2005. All indicators for abuse show that meth use and abuse has come down since then.
Calls to Texas poison control centers went from 336 in 2006 to 190 in 2009. The number of deaths decreased to 106 people from a peak of 177 in 2005. Texas law enforcement seized 1,773 meth labs in 1999 and just 10 in 2009.
In 2009, 7,535 people were admitted to Texas state-funded treatment centers for meth. The average patient was 33-years-old. About 46% had received prior treatment.
Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in Texas. But abuse over the years has varied only slightly. Indicators like treatment center admittances, poisoning cases, and deaths have remained consistent.
There is a new synthetic marijuana product called a homolog that is gaining popularity. Homologs contain a synthetic agent that mimics the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Homologs are sold on the Internet and specialty stores under the names K2, K2 summit, spIce, genie, space, skunk, yucatan fire, halo, and black mamba. They are marketed as herbal incense. Drug screens do not detect marijuana homologs.
In 2009, 21,540 people (23% of all admissions) were admitted to Texas treatment centers for marijuana. The average patient was 33-years-old. About 52% had received prior treatment.
Pharmaceuticals or “controlled prescription drugs” like opiates hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (Oxycontin) have become a major problem in Texas in the last decade. Other abused drugs include the depressants alprazolam Xanax) and diazepam (Valium).
These drugs are typically bought from local “pain doctors”, over the Internet or from Mexican border pharmacies. Six doctors in Houston wrote up to 43,328 prescriptions for the “Houston Cocktail” (alprazolam, hydrocodone, and carisoprodo) in a 15-month period.
Texas deaths with mention of hydrocodone went from five in 1998 to 360 in 2007.
In 2009, 5,844 people entered a Texas treatment center for opiate abuse. About 78% of them had drug and alcohol problems.
“Don’t mess with Texas.” That’s the best way to sum up the state’s drug possession laws. Punishment depends on the category of drug, the amount and any previous criminal history.
For example, Oxycontin (without a prescription) possession of between 1 gram and 4 grams is a third-degree felony. This could mean 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Marijuana possession of 4 ounces, but less than 5 pounds is a felony. Possible sentence of 180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of not more than $10,000
Also, possession of small amounts of cocaine, meth, LSD, ecstasy and marijuana requires community supervision and mandatory drug treatment programs.
Finding Help at Texas Treatment Centers
In 2009, over 91,000 people were admitted to Texas treatment centers for a variety of alcohol and drug dependencies. About half of those admitted had received prior treatment. Sadly, it took these patients 15 years from the time of first use to the time they went to treatment.
Don’t wait that long to get treatment. Contact one of the almost 500 Texas treatment centers right now. Recoverycorps.org can help. Just click on a location, type an address in the box above or contact us if you have additional questions.
Ecstasy or MDMA (3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic hallucinogenic that produces feelings of euphoria, increased energy and sensual arousal. It is popular with teens and young adults especially at parties, clubs and raves. Abuse is serious because of the potential physical and psychological damage and should be addressed immediately by an ecstasy treatment program.
MDMA was actually first synthesized in 1912. It became popular in the psychiatric field in the 1960s to supposedly treat disorders. But the drug did more harm than good. MDMA regained popularity in nightclubs in the 1980s when it became known as ecstasy.
In 1985 MDMA was classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Since then the drug has become popular with teens and young adults in the club scene.
If you or someone you love has an addiction use the resources on Recoverycorps.org to find the ecstasy treatment centers closest to you. In addition, you’ll find articles on ecstasy addiction, use, and statistics.
What is Ecstasy?
Production starts with Safrole—oil extracted from the fruit of a sassafras plant. From here various ways exist to convert the oil into MDMA or ecstasy. Depending on the quality and process, ecstasy can contain amphetamine, methamphetamine, or even ephedrine and caffeine. The drug is produced in illegal labs where the ingredients vary widely.
Most users take ecstasy orally in tablet form. Others "parachute" the tablet—crushing it in a napkin and swallowing a piece of the napkin to try and speed up the high.
It is also sometimes snorted or smoked.
Ecstasy is usually sold by street dealers in tablet doses ranging from 50mg to 500mg. The tablets are often different colors and have images on them. Common street names are XTC, X, Adam, clarity, lover's speed, and love drug.
Common "Brand Names" of Ecstasy Pills are Mercedes, Mitsubishis, Ferraris, Volkswagons, Red Devils, Blue Nikes, 007s, Playboys, Batmans, Supermans, Rolexes, Pokemons, Buddhas, Butterflies, X-Files, White Diamonds, Yin Yangs, and Armanis.
Other ecstasy terminology:
Roll/Rolling - under the influence of ecstasy
E-tard - person who uses a great deal of ecstasy; a burnout
Candy flipping - LSD taken with ecstasy
Flower flipping/Hippy flipping – mushrooms taken with ecstasy
Elephant flipping - PCP taken with ecstasy
Kitty flipping - ketamine taken with ecstasy
Love flipping - mescaline taken with ecstasy
How Does it Work?
Ecstasy attaches to the serotonin in the brain where it allows excessive release of this neurotransmitter also known as the “happiness hormone.” Ecstasy also releases dopamine and norepinephrine which can increase blood pressure and increase the heart rate.
Ecstasy provides the user with two main effects: amphetamine stimulation and mild hallucinations. It taps into the same pleasure zones as cocaine.
These effects are felt within 30 minutes, peak at 90 minutes and last for 4 to 6 hours.
Some of the more specific effects are:
- Increased energy, alertness and endurance
- Heightened sense of intimacy
- Tactile arousal
- Improved self-confidence
- Distortion of time and perception
In addition to these desired effects, ecstasy can also conflict with the body’s temperature regulation producing hypothermia or shutting down the cardiovascular system. The results could be cardiac arrest and death.
For some users ecstasy can be addictive physically and psychologically. The user can also develop a tolerance where the longer he uses the drug the higher the dose will be required to achieve the same effect.
One study of adolescent users found that 43% exhibited signs of the accepted dependence behavior. These signs included (1) continued use even knowing the physical and psychological damage (2) tolerance (3) and withdrawal effects. But there is still much research to be done on the potential addiction of the drug.
The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 760,000 Americans aged 12 and older used ecstasy compared to 555,000 users in 2008.
The Dangerous After Effects
Some of the more common dangers post-ecstasy are:
- Loss of appetite
- Drug craving
- Impaired attention and concentration
- Dizziness, vertigo
Continued ecstasy use can damage the serotonin function of the brain. This can increase the likelihood that the drug user will develop psychiatric problems. One study found that heavy users were more likely to have higher levels of paranoid thoughts, anxiety and disturbed sleep.
Another long-term effect is the damage to memory. Once study found that recreational use of ecstasy affected the long-term memory of 80% of the users. Short-term memory was affected in 72% of users.
Avoid these long-term effects with GHB therapy at a professional treatment center.
Ecstasy Rehabilitation and Therapy
The main treatment options for addiction are cognitive behavioral therapy. This therapy is designed to change the thinking, attitudes, and behaviors that affect the individual’s drug use.
Additionally, drug support groups and individual and group counseling sessions are used for ecstasy therapy.
If you have a problem with abuse contact one of the ecstasy treatment centers listed on Recoverycorps.org’s site. Your ecstasy recovery starts now.