Most Common Drug Overdose Types in Texas:

Deaths from drug overdoses in the state of Texas have nearly tripled in the last 18 years. From 1999 to 2017, drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled from 1,087 to 2,979. This increase was across the board for all types of drugs, although methamphetamine and cocaine caused the most overdose deaths in the lone star state. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl are also rising as a cause of an increase of deaths for Texans.

The Center for Disease Control 2017 estimates show that nearly 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. While the state of Texas was certainly not accounted as the highest increase across the United States, the alarming trend is that it is increasing at a terrifying rate. States with the highest number of overdose deaths were West Virginia, Washington, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland. These states numbers were heavily driven by prescription, illicit and synthetic opioids. While the nation endures the widely-popularized “opioid epidemic” Texas has yet to see a major increase in overdose deaths from opioids.


This does not count problems with opioids out of the equation for the state of Texas, however. With the increasing availability of fentanyl from the internet and from the porous southern border, Texas officials expect to see an upward trend in opioid overdoses in the years to come. Heroin from the southern border is typically more expensive than methamphetamine, so a lot of drug users typically don’t start with heroin. In Texas there are people who get started on prescription opioids, like Oxycontin or hydrocodone, but the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP) efforts have made prescription painkiller abuse more difficult to maintain. This system notifies doctors when their patients visit other medical facilities to obtain prescription opioids, or when a Texas resident visits a pharmacy in another state to obtain opioid drugs. These monitoring efforts also have been accompanied by statewide efforts of the Texas Hospital Association to only prescribe short-acting opioids at the lowest dose possible.

Methamphetamine and Cocaine: The Leading Killers of Texas Residents.

Meth has been a major problem in the state of Texas for a very long time. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the use of methamphetamine was on a steep increase across the nation. Southwestern states, like Texas were among the first to experience the explosion of the drug’s popularity around this time as the trend continued across all 50 states. Over the course of a decade, the problem seemed to be declining after state and local officials cracked down on the manufacture and supply of pseudoephedrine (the principal ingredient in methamphetamine). Pseudoephedrine is the common cold and allergy decongestant that was available at every local corner drugstore.

When local officials cracked down on the manufacture of meth in clandestine labs (like those popularized in the hit show: Breaking Bad), the Mexican drug cartels stepped-up their supply efforts. Today, meth is coming across rural portions of the southern border, making Texas the first stop on the way to the rest of the continental United States. Therefore, the efforts by state lawmakers to reduce the manufacture of meth in Texas has done very little to disrupt the supply of the drug in the state. As there is a lot of money to be made on the black market for illicit drugs, the Mexican drug cartels will seemingly always step up production south of the border to meet the demand of American consumers. To illustrate this, the Drug Enforcement Agency released data on testing of confiscated samples of meth from 2013:

“Only 1 percent of the samples from across the United States examined in the DEA’s MPP were produced from the pseudoephedrine method. Ninety-five percent was produced from the phenyl-2-propanone (P2P) method, which is used in Mexico, where it is legal.” Substance Abuse Trends in Texas, 2014. Dr. Jane C. Maxwell, Ph.D.

Methamphetamines took the lives of 577 Texans in 2016, a steep increase since 1999 where only 15 people died from a meth overdose. Increasingly, the drug has become popular with children and young adults, which points to a further increase in meth overdoses if the problem continues to grow.


Cocaine overdoses killed the most Texans in 2016 according to CDC data. While there had been a 17% decrease in cocaine seizures on the US-Mexico border from 2010-2015, the drug has been increasing in popularity in recent years. Many people have moved away from smoking crack cocaine and returned to snorting the white powdered cocaine as there is a seemingly lower stigma for inhaling powdered cocaine. Popular culture seems to be more accepting of cocaine use as many songs on the radio, television shows and movies have glamorized its use in recent years.

Though seizures on the border have reduced most likely due to internal conflicts in the Mexican drug cartels, cocaine production is up in Colombia and the drug is somehow finding its way into American communities. In fact, in 2018, $18 million dollars worth of cocaine was found in boxes of bananas that were being donated to a Texas state prison. Many attribute cocaine’s increase in abuse to an increase in supply from Colombia. Recently, the nation of Colombia ended an aerial crop spraying program because the herbicide intended to kill cocoa plants was poisoning the local ecosystem. Authorities believe this has encouraged cartels to plant more of the cocoa plant, thus increasing supply.

Stopping the supply of drugs from the southern border should be considered a worthwhile effort and it will definitely continue. At some point however, the state of Texas, and the entire nation should constantly monitor our efforts to reduce substance abuse, aimed at reducing drug overdose deaths. Are our efforts really working? Should we switch our focus from a criminal justice approach to drug abuse or should we start viewing addiction as a public health crisis?

Regardless of how you view substance abuse and addiction, there are people in Texas who need help. Every day offers the potential for someone to turn their life around by choosing to quit drugs. We employ a social model of addiction recovery to help you succeed in sobriety, long after you leave the drug rehab program. If you are struggling with addiction, contact us at More Than Rehab today, we can help you overcome addiction and begin a new, healthy lifestyle.



What are some effective drug-addict rehabilitation centers?

Many addicts who have struggled with substance abuse have successfully got clean and sober with the help of a variety of numerous programs. In your local area, it is likely that you have access to a wide array of potential treatment options. These could include the 12 step programs like Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA) or Narcotic’s Anonymous (NA), inpatient detox centers, residential rehabilitation centers, licensed outpatient therapy programs, sober living homes and even partial hospitalization options. Most of these treatment varieties can be chosen to be conducted in long-term care, comprising of an array of different treatment methodologies over time or in the short-term, like an initial medical detox situation. Finding the right treatment for yourself, a loved one or family member can be quite exhausting with all the different options to choose from.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends that any effective drug-addict rehabilitation center provide many components in the treatment of substance abuse. These components should not only be focused on curing the addiction itself, but also offer tools and training for the patient to become productive members of society as well. Without the proper tools to help a patient cure their addiction and rebuild their lives, treatment likely won’t be as effective as it should be.

According to The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) an estimated 20.7 million people required substance abuse treatment.


In the United States, with approximately 1 in 15 adults age 26 or older needing treatment for substance abuse and addiction, finding the best treatment can become a challenging endeavor.  Couple this with the fact that most people experiencing a substance use disorder (SUD) do not believe they need to enter a rehab program and you have the potential for a national health epidemic. Nearly 200 people die from a drug overdose every day in the US. This disturbing trend continues to increase year after year, despite efforts by federal and local governments to curb the tide of drug abuse in the US.

Addiction can be a deadly disease.

If you or someone in your family is currently experiencing the disease of addiction, you want to find the best possible care. Choosing a drug rehab facility could be one of the most important health care decisions you make in your entire life. As you look for the most effective forms of treatment, you should consider programs that offer an evidence-based approach to their care. An evidence-based treatment approach is simply defined as one that is scientifically-proven to produce the best results. These programs will regularly consider new research studies and evidence to apply to their treatment regimens. Since these programs are in line with the scientific method, they will constantly reevaluate their practice based on these scientific findings.

“People typically do more research when shopping for a new car, than when seeking treatment for addiction.”

New York Times, 2/4/2013

The main goal of an effective rehabilitation for an alcohol or drug addiction should be a lasting, lifelong sobriety. Sometimes the initial act of getting clean can seem like a major victory by itself. While the initial detox and simply stopping use of drugs or alcohol is a success, that alone is not enough to cure the addiction. Constant cravings and painful, sometimes excruciating withdrawal symptoms are common with the first few weeks or months of sobriety. An effective drug rehabilitation will help address the continuing battles of fighting a full-blown chemical dependency.

An addiction is never cured with a quick fix. There is no short term solution to an outright addiction problem. Most serious substance use disorders will require attention and care for months and in some cases even years. At More Than Rehab, we typically recommend aftercare and follow-up with our patients, encouraging them to continue to attend group or individual therapy sessions. These can be continued through our facility or through a local community organization like a 12-step program or other group meeting. We use a social model approach to our treatment programs, focusing on not just quitting the drugs and alcohol, but on reintegration into society once the inpatient stay at our facility is complete.


In any case, each patient we see has a unique set of needs and we try to implement the treatment options that would be the most successful for their individual situation. Multimodal treatment plans are genuinely the most effective at treating a variety of needs. These rehabilitation techniques can be applied intermittently or continuously, depending on the personal situation of the patient.

In the treatment for opioid addiction for example, relapse prevention medications such as Suboxone have a higher success rate for helping people through the early stages of their addiction recovery. Many treatment programs are afraid to use this type of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), because they view them as a replacement addiction or a crutch, replacing one substance for another. A rehab facility that uses these medication-assisted treatments are going to be administered by a board-certified medical doctor. When you are researching the most effective drug addict rehabilitation centers, find out the credentials of the staff and especially the medical director. Check to see that the therapist or physician is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

In addition to your treatment for addiction, find out if the facility offers treatment for any other underlying mental health issues as well. A lot of times, people become addicted to illicit drugs because they (knowingly or unknowingly) are self-medicating to alleviate symptoms of an underlying mental illness. This dual-diagnosis approach is crucial for many people who are trying to heal as a whole-person. This approach will be the most effective at helping them achieve a lifetime of healthy living through sobriety.

As you’re looking to find the most effective drug addict rehabilitation centers in your local area, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. No one person’s needs will be fulfilled by a single treatment solution. Look for research-validated and evidence based recovery options that will include medication-assisted treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, community reinforcement and family group therapy sessions. These types of programs will help yourself or your loved one achieve a rewarding life that is free from the use of drugs or alcohol. Call us today!


How many times must someone go through rehab to stay sober?

Excellent question. Trouble is, you may not like the answer. Let’s break it down.

How many times will someone relapse? These questions are a sign that you’re thinking in practical terms about drug rehab in Houston, Austin, College-Station or somewhere else. “How much? How long? What will it take?” These are the kind of questions that come from someone who is, perhaps, ready to help someone else or begin the journey to being sober. Perhaps.

In other words, many people from all walks of life wish they could answer the question, “how do I stay sober?”. They wish really hard, don’t they? They really want to. And they will tell you so. But in reality, only a small percentage actually investigate what it actually takes. Half of all people will relapse as part of their recovery, at a slightly lower rate than other chronic illnesses.


Here’s the not so good news – how many times must someone go through drug rehab to stay sober depends on a countless number of factors. To better understand this, let’s attempt to group some of these factors into buckets.

Bucket #1 - Why do some people use drugs?

Things are not going to be easy, stumbling here and there along the way. a drug addict will be pushed to the limit and beyond. There will be times when you will have terrific reasons and justifications for not getting sober right now. Or, you’ll have an airtight case for why this kind of drug rehab is not for people like you. And, if you could just find that kind of rehab, things would be much better.  Or, you might convince yourself and everyone else, that the way to guarantee you’re going to make it is to take a little break – just for now. 

The more imaginative you are, the more reasons you’ll create. It all boils down to one question – “What’s your why?”  Why do you want to stay sober? The stronger your why, the better prepared you’ll be to stay on track. It helps if you can connect your why to something really important to you. Crazy important. So clearly important, you would sacrifice almost everything for it. If your why isn’t strong enough, you’ll be tempted to rationalize it away when the going gets tough. When things get bad and you’re looking for a way out, you’ll start to question if your why was actually all that important to begin with. This is normal. This is expected. We’re just human. Almost all of us do this when the going gets tough.

Bucket #2 - How strong is your self-control?

Self-control during drug rehab and keeping your commitments are like a muscle. The more you use them, the stronger they become. How experienced are you in keeping your commitments? When you’re tested, how do you perform? Do you stick to what you said you were going to do, or not? Many of us don’t have a lot of experience in keeping our commitments. Things that sounded like a terrific idea yesterday, don’t sound like such a good idea today. Your world collapses as a result of substance addiction. Everyone starts out with their own capacity of self-control and discipline. Then life happens and you either build up the ability to maintain discipline or you don’t. The fact that you may have a drug or alcohol problem didn’t just appear overnight.

Often, when circumstances are in our favor, it’s easier to make plans and commitments. Then the circumstances change. Think of an example when your circumstances were not so peachy and you did what you set out to do anyway. Even small examples of new routines can offer insights into what we can expect. It doesn’t matter where you are with this. Start small. Start small and build up to where you feel confident about overcoming whatever’s going to come your way as you begin the journey to being sober.

Many begin the climb of Everest with a gigantic whyand that’s great, but it’s the tiny commitment of putting one foot in front of the other no matter how exhausted you are that carries you all the way to the top.


Bucket #3 - Why did I start using drugs?

How did you get here? What happened to you? Was it something that caused you to be where you are now? Sometimes, horrible, unspeakable things happen to us. Sometimes it’s subtle and builds momentum until it becomes a tidal wave that overwhelms us. It could have been something entirely unfair. It could have been something innocent that turns ugly. When did it happen? Is it still happening? Is there guilt? Is there blame? Is there anger? Is there shame? Dual diagnosis offers treatment options for related substance abuse problems.

Whatever it was – it happened. And the pain is very, very real. Can you begin to see that something happened and then somehow it began to define in some way, who you are? Can you begin to see that the emotions you experienced began to form how you let it create your story around it?

Bucket #4 - What factors encourage drug relapse?

Want to have some fun? Do a video search for “crabs in a bucket”. Here’s what you’ll find: All crabs have the same goal in life – to be happy. That’s it. And being happy for a crab is getting out of the bucket.  Now the funny thing is, the more crabs you have in a bucket, the harder it is for one of them to get out. You see, every single crab is using it’s claws to grab onto whatever it can. They climb over each other until one of them – the lucky one – latches onto the edge of the bucket. Just as he starts to pull himself out, one of the other crabs will latch onto the lucky crab and before you know it, Mr. Lucky Crab is back in the bottom of the bucket.

The story goes, if you listen very closely, you can hear them – “Hey, you! Mr. Lucky Crab. Who do you think you are, trying to get out? D’ya think you’re too good for us? Is that it? Come on boys, let’s show him what happens to crabs like him!”

If you’re surrounded by friends who do the very thing you want to stop doing, what will it be like when they find out? Will they feel judged by you? Will you feel sorry for them?  Will you miss them? There’s no right answer here. All you can do is be prepared to ask yourself the question. The social model of addiction treatment has been proven to be a factor in many people’s drug recovery in Texas.

Here’s some tips for staying sober during the holidays when relapse is most likely:

Bucket #5 - Who is supporting you during your drug recovery?

Have you done your research on the best rehab facility in your area? Have you gone and talked to the people who run it? Have you talked to anyone who has successfully completed their stay? What are you using to judge whether or not this is the right rehab facility for you? Prices, location, facilities are easy to compare and shop around. And, yes, all those things matter. It’s important to feel comfortable. On the other hand, I don’t ever remember hearing someone say, “The number one reason why I’m sober right now is because the décor in my room was amazing.”

Visit enough facilities, meet enough of the staff, enough questions to make sure you have the people you need. This is going to be one of the most difficult and yet rewarding journeys you will ever take. Go find the people who are going to have your back. How many times must you go through rehab is all up to you.