Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Odessa, Texas
Most cities across the United States are facing an addiction crisis, but few have been hit as hard as Odessa, Texas. While Odessa residents are suffering from high rates of abuse of many substances, none are as problematic as opioids and methamphetamines.
The Opioid Epidemic in Odessa
Odessa is a landlocked city in western Texas, but this location is not free from the grips of addiction. Odessa is ranked among the 15 cities abusing opioids the most. Eight percent of people who have opioid prescriptions in Odessa are misusing their drugs.
Opioids have previously not been seen as an issue in western Texas because death and documentation of the issue has been skewed due to the state’s data collection around death rates. The Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative will now be training people to write more accurate death certificates.
Of the $500 million released by the federal government to combat the opioid epidemic, Texas received $27 million. The Texas Targeted Opioid Response has given a community coalition in Odessa $7000, which was spent to purchase Deterra pouches – small packages where you can put opioids that dissolve them and render them inert. The local youth prevention programs were awarded a little over $8,000 to begin activities in the community.
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Meth, the Drug of Choice in Western Texas
Even though western Texas, and Odessa in particular, is affected by the opioid epidemic, the drug of greatest concern in this region is crystal meth, a stimulant oil field workers use to cope with long hours in the Texas heat. A strong correlation has been found between the number of crystal meth seizures in the area surrounding the Permian Basin, and the rise of drilling activity. CRS Diagnostic Service, a local drug-testing company, found the number of workers who tested positive for methamphetamines during the first half of 2017 was more than three times higher than in the first half of 2009, just before the “shale oil revolution,” began. Meth addiction has made it difficult for the oil industry to find workers. More job applicants have failed drug tests this year than in 2014. Substance abuse specialists estimate drug-test failure numbers underestimate the true numbers of field workers who use drugs.
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Treating Addiction in Odessa
In 2016, Naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication, was made available over the counter at Walgreens throughout the state of Texas. The rate of overdose deaths in Texas is 9.68 per 100,000 people and increased 80 percent from 1999 to 2014.
Although Odessa isn’t free from the effects of the national addiction epidemic, there are solutions. There are treatment centers that offer detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment, as well as ongoing therapy, and local 12-step meetings. Recovery is possible. If you or a loved one are battling addiction, there is hope. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss available treatment options.