According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, Texas has 459 alcohol and drug rehab programs. The survey also indicates that drug rehab in Texas is overwhelmingly outpatient -- 95 percent of the 34,500 people who attend alcohol or drug rehab in the Lone Star State do so on an outpatient basis, while just 3 percent use longer term residential rehab centers. However, the number of people entering rehab overall is rising steadily.
Texas Drug Habits & Rehab Expertise
The rising number of addicts is in part due to the steady growth of the illegal drug trade through the state from the south, which also determines which addiction cases rehab centers see the most -- and therefore which addictions they're most experienced handling.
Illegal drugs come from Mexico via Laredo, El Paso, Brownsville, McAllen, and smaller border towns. From there they move north to major distribution points in Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston. Other drugs come from San Diego in the west through Lubbock and El Paso, onwards toward Dallas-Fort Worth and Amarillo.
Cocaine has always been a popular illegal drug, but according to the University of Texas drug rehab admissions for cocaine dropped from 1998's high of 32 percent to just 18 percent by 2008. High school student cocaine use has also dropped, suggesting the trend will continue. (Abusers who inhale powdered cocaine average 11 years from their first regular use until they enter treatment, whereas people who inject it average 17 years from first use to treatment.)
On the other hand, heroin has been gaining ground. Admissions for treatment of heroin addiction went up in 2008 and 2009, with heroin abuse growing among both teenagers and young adults. Houston's outreach program workers reported seeing increasing heroin use, also. Heroin carries an average 14 year delay between starting to use the drug and entering treatment among those who inject it, with a delay that drops to just 7 years for those who inhale it.
Worryingly, heroin inhalation is on the upswing across the state, and so-called "cheese heroin" -- which is heroin blended with Tylenol PM -- continues its popularity in Dallas.
Prescription Opiate Rehab
While illegal drug addicts tend to be well served by rehab facilities, the situation is somewhat different for prescription drug addicts. A new trend in outpatient treatment in both Texas and Louisiana highlights the problem -- whereas street drug addicts often do not really want to stop, those who've become physically dependent on Vicodin after an injury very much do.
Since they do not demonstrate traditional addictive behavior, rehab facilities targeting these patients aim primarily to help them manage withdrawal and detox, while providing the ongoing therapy needed to keep patients on track.
LGBT Drug Rehab
A fast-growing LGBT population in Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Abilene means there's also an increasing need for gay-friendly drug rehab in Texas. Existing drug rehab centers are often not very "gay friendly," and the staff is usually not trained to deal with the unique issues present in the LGBT community. Discrimination or homophobia can be an issue. For this reason, Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin in particular have seen a rise in dedicated gay-friendly treatment programs over the last few years.