Drug Abuse Trends in Amarillo, Texas
Located in the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo is a city of approximately 200,000 people across two counties – Potter and Randall. The region is known for its vast stretches of land with largely untouched, prairie grasslands. The northern Texas city is closer to the Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado state capitals than it is to Austin. Subsequently, the highway system surrounding Amarillo is popular among drug cartels and narcotics traffickers. Mexican “Black Tar” heroin, packed in baggies or balloons, became the first “brand name” of heroin reported in the area. Even so, the abuse of P2P (phenyl-2-propanone) methamphetamine is much more widespread among Texans.
While the opioid epidemic has spread across other parts of the country, meth addiction and abuse have persisted as the greatest concern in the Amarillo area. After the 2006 ban on pseudoephedrine (i.e. cold medicine), Mexican drug cartels began to import purer forms of meth with potencies as high as 95%, known as “Ice” or “Glass.” 715 deaths in Texas in 2017 were meth-related, compared to 539 heroin-related deaths. In Texas forensics laboratories, meth represented 24% of all items seized and was the second-most frequently identified item (behind marijuana/cannabis). Amarillo law enforcement estimates that as many as 80% of local burglaries are related to meth use.
Alcoholism in Amarillo
Though the sale of alcohol is legal – yet more strictly regulated – in Amarillo, alcohol abuse is a fatally serious issue. Rates of heavy drinking and binge drinking (i.e. 5 or more drinks in 2 hours for a man and 4 for a woman) are higher in Amarillo than even the state’s most-populous city, Houston. Consequently, the West Texas city has a higher rate of motor vehicle crashes involving drunk driving.
In the first month of 2018, Amarillo police made 77 DUI arrests; there were 2 alcohol-related fatal crashes. In 2017, there were approximately 50 DUI arrests per month and 14 fatal car crashes total. If rates of alcohol misuse and alcohol-related crime continue to climb, the region will further suffer from the negative effects of alcohol abuse (such as shorter lifespan).
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Amarillo Addiction Statistics
In 2015, there were 262 car wrecks involving a drunk driver in the city.
In 2016, Amarillo police made 498 DUI arrests, or one every 32 hours.
The average age of Texans entering treatment for heroin addiction is 33-years-old.
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Addiction Treatment in Amarillo
Though somewhat isolated from other metropolitan cities, Amarillo still has several options for addiction treatment services. Residents have access to Outreach, Screening, Assessment, and Referral Centers (Region 1 for Amarillo) when looking for recovery options.
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) provides funding for prevention, intervention and treatment services through contracts with about 200 community organizations that serve more than 750,000 Texans each year.
Research has shown that the cost of addiction is often much higher than the cost of rehab (or incarceration). In cooperation with the Texas Partnership for Family Recovery (a multi-department and organization group dedicated to reuniting families), Health and Human Services strives to make addiction treatment more widely available, regardless of ability to pay. Sliding fee scales are also available to those who qualify.
Seek Recovery in Amarillo
Depending on the length and severity of an individual’s addiction, there are a variety of options for treatment when it comes to drug and alcohol rehab. Most recovery therapies begin with taking the first step and going through a detox program. If you or a loved one need more information on where to start, talk to a dedicated treatment provider today to discuss your options.