Texas Overdose Trend Remains At All-Time High For 2022

Substance abuse harms individuals’ physical, mental, and behavioral health. It also affects their families and communities at large. In some instances, it may result in overdose deaths.

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that over 4,000 people in Texas died due to drug overdose in 2020 alone. The same report revealed that overdoses claimed a total of 93,000 lives in the United States in 2020.

Experts connected the rise in drug addiction deaths with the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Robert Redfield, the CDC director, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected individuals with substance use disorders. The need to isolate left them bored and lonely, thus they used drugs and alcohol for solace.

report by DSHS revealed that opioid use is one of the leading causes of overdose deaths in Texas. Other drugs reported causing overdose deaths are cocaine and methamphetamine.

Director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Deb Houry, said that the significant increase in overdose deaths is worrying.


How to prevent drug overdose deaths

Until recently, there was no state-wide system to collect overdose data. Researchers at the University of Texas have created a digital reporting and surveillance system to track this data. The system, commonly known as Project CONNECT. Its purpose is to give stakeholders a clear picture of the Texas overdose crisis and influence future interventions.

The CDC also made the following recommendations in a bid to reduce the number of overdose deaths:

What you can do

Everyone has a role to play in preventing overdose deaths. There is a high chance that someone you know or someone from your community may overdose at some point, but not all overdoses should end in death.

To prevent overdose deaths in your community, you can:


Ways to talk loved ones into getting treatment

When a loved one is struggling with an addiction, you may be at a loss on what to do to help them. You wouldn’t want to risk losing anyone due to a drug overdose.

Addiction treatment is a personal choice, so you can’t force your loved one to get treatment. The best you can do is be there for them every step of the way. However, you can do a few things to convince your loved one to get substance abuse treatment. Here are some of the most important ones.

Be non-judgemental

If your loved one admits that they are struggling with drug addiction, try to react as calmly as possible. Talk to them in a non-judgemental manner and offer to help them. If your loved one doesn’t confide in you, but you notice they are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may have to approach them with the issue. Try to be as non-judgemental as possible.

Research the effects of the drug

When your loved one is an addict, it would be best to research the short-term and long-term effects of the drug they are addicted to. When you are well informed, it is unlikely that they will misinform you on the seriousness of the problem. Additionally, they will more likely listen to you when you sound like an expert.

You can get information on various drugs on our website.

Seek professional help

Drug addiction is a chronic illness. Therefore, it needs professional intervention. Reach out to rehab facilities, doctors, or counselors to get relevant information.

Choose a convenient place and time to talk to them

When you decide to approach your loved one to air your concerns, choose a place and time when you would both be comfortable. Do not exhibit aggressive behavior as they may be defensive as a result. Instead, remain calm, maintain an even tone, and focus on the issue at hand.

It would be best to try talking to them when they are as sober as possible. This way, it will be easier to reason with them.

Listen to them

If your loved one is willing to talk about their addiction, listen to them. Give them a chance to air their side of the story, but don’t let them sway you into believing their problem is not serious. Additionally, it would be best to be mindful of how you react or respond.


Bring up treatment options

From your initial research, you will notice several treatment options available depending on the drug your loved one is addicted to. Some treatment facilities offer both inpatient and outpatient programs. Let your loved ones know their options and help them select the one that suits them best.

Be supportive    

Your loved one will need a lot of your support throughout the treatment and recovery process.

Most treatment programs have medical detox as the first step of treatment. It is arguably the most challenging part of treatment, and most patients feel like they want  to give up. Be there for your loved one and offer emotional support to better their chances of recovery.

You may also have to accompany them to support groups which play a significant role in ensuring recovering addicts maintain sobriety.

What if they don’t want to get treatment?

Sometimes, addicts may refuse to voluntarily get treatment, posing a danger to themselves and those around them. When this happens, you may have to opt for interventionist court-ordered Rehab. You can petition the court for the order if you can prove your loved one’s addiction endangers them and others.

Get help today

If you are searching for trusted and proven drug treatment, Texas has one of the finest. More Than Rehab provides high-quality addiction treatment for Texas residents. We offer unique, individualized treatment programs based on successful national models.

Our experts will take care of your loved one throughout the recovery process, including medical detox, inpatient rehabilitation, and our comprehensive outpatient program. We also provide additional support for Texas overdose victims through sober living arrangements.

Isotonitazene: New Synthetic Opioid Has Recovery Specialists Worried

Every year hundreds of Texans die due to substance abuse. Illicit and illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine were the main culprits for the longest time. However, opioid-related deaths became more prevalent in 2017. A new synthetic opioid, isotonitazene threatens to make this problem worse.

Medical practitioners started prescribing opioid pain relievers to patients in the 1990s. Their role was to solely alleviate pain in patients who suffered from injuries or chronic pain. They also helped patients during the recovery period after surgery.

Unfortunately, opioids are highly addictive. They also have a high risk of abuse, so most patients become addicted. Opioid addiction quickly became an epidemic in the health care system.

Synthetic opioids started emerging soon after. Like natural opioids, they target brain parts to produce pain relief (analgesic) effects. By 2014, several synthetic opioids related to fentanyl had emerged in the illicit drug market. The evidence of synthetic opioid abuse was present in various toxicology samples and forensic drug exhibits.

In 2019, experts discovered isotonitazene, a synthetic opioid, in both biological samples and samples from drug seizures. Authorities submitted these findings to the National Medical Services (NMS) laboratory.

Since 2019, isotonitazene has gained popularity in the illegal trade market. Initially, dealers sold it in the black market, but it has become one of the many readily available street drugs. As a result, the number of fatal overdose cases associated with the drug has significantly increased.

This article discusses isotonitazene in detail. We will describe why synthetic opioids are dangerous, signs of opioid abuse or addiction, strategies to prevent abuse, and addiction treatment.


What is isotonitazene?

Isotonitazene, commonly known as ISO, is a highly addictive synthetic opioid that mimics the effects of etonitazene.

Swiss researchers first discovered etonitazene, a powerful analgesic, in 1957. The analgesic was potent, with a high potential for abuse and addiction. Therefore, the researchers did not make it commercially available for human use. It is classified as a schedule 1 drug.

The chemical structure of etonitazene and isotonitazene are very similar. For this reason, authorities in the United States did not classify it as a separate substance, until recently. The DEA labeled it a schedule 1 drug in June of 2020.

Before then, isotonitazene was not expressly illegal, and most dealers sold it on the dark web. With time, dealers moved from the dark web to the streets. 

The DEA reported that they were able to link several fatalities in the US with isotonitazene. Therefore, the drug is an imminent hazard to public safety.  

Most users obtain isotonitazene in pill form, but it is also available in powder form. Usually, the powder is yellow or off-white, and dealers cut it into other drugs to increase their potency. They may also use it to manufacture pills that resemble existing drugs. For instance, in Canada, isotonitazene tablets in Canada resemble Dilaudid pills.

Why are synthetic opioids dangerous?

Synthetic opioids are dangerous because, like natural opioids, they target receptors in the brain that produce analgesic effects. Consequently, they are highly addictive. They also have several side effects. These include, but not limited to: respiratory depression, urinary retention, vomiting, nausea, pupillary constriction, drowsiness, and confusion. Opioid abuse may also result in opioid use disorders.

If you overdose on synthetic opioids, you may experience the following symptoms:

If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately as you or your loved one will require emergency treatment. You can use the prescription nasal spray called Narcan to reverse the overdose effects.


Signs of opioid abuse and addiction

You can categorize opioid abuse and addiction signs into three: physical, psychological, and behavioral.

The first and most apparent sign of opioid addiction is your inability to stop using opioids, even if you want to. Further worsening the problem is taking more prescription medications than your doctor prescribed.

Other signs of abuse or addiction are;

If you crave opioids or can’t control your urge to take them, the chances are that you are addicted. You may also be an addict if you continue taking them without your doctor’s prescription. The same is true if the drug regularly interferes with your day-to-day life.

Your family and friends will likely notice your addiction before you do since they will notice the behavioral change.

Strategies to prevent isotonitazene abuse and overdose

Isotonitazene is still new in the United States’ illicit drug market. Therefore, there is a need for more strategies to prevent isotonitazene abuse and overdose. Its classification as a schedule 1 drug is helpful because of the stringent regulations and hefty penalties for dealers and traffickers.

Still, it would be more useful if isotonitazene was added to toxicology tests. This way, authorities, and experts will better understand the extent of its abuse in the United States.

There should be better access to Narcan (naloxone), the medication that reverses the effects of opioids. This could help to combat overdose resulting from isotonitazene abuse.



The opioid epidemic is a destructive public health crisis that requires comprehensive treatment. At More Than Rehab, we offer extensive treatment for opioid addiction.

Generally, withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction are challenging to deal with on your own. This is true no matter if it is prescription opioidsor illicit synthetic opioids. Our experienced medical staff will help you through it.

We have inpatient detox, where our medical staff will supervise you as you experience acute withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, we have an inpatient rehab program that helps you navigate the early stages of sobriety. Our outpatient services consisting of group and individual therapy sessions.

Start your recovery journey today

Most people think it is impossible to successfully treat opioid addiction because it affects the central nervous system. However, this is not the case. With the proper treatment, you can make a full recovery.

If you or your loved one are addicted to opioids, it would be best to seek medical attention.

More Than Rehab has exhaustive treatment facilities. Our experts use an evidence-based approach to rehabilitation. We will walk you through our medical detox followed by the inpatient program to help you maintain sobriety.

Depending on your case, you may also opt for short-term replacement therapy to minimize your cravings with medication-assisted treatment.

Contact us today to start your recovery journey and get your life back on track. Our communication lines are open 24/7.


How Is Rehab For Meth Different Than Other Drugs

Meth is a powerful drug and one of the hardest to overcome. This makes meth addiction treatment a challenge compared to alcohol or other drugs like cocaine and marijuana. A full recovery from meth needs an extensive meth addiction treatment plan, which comprises patient assessment, detox, therapy, and aftercare (support groups).

Detox purges the physical presence of meth from the body and helps user adjust to normal functioning without the drug. Therapy addresses psychological damage done by meth abuse and also arms the patient with coping skills to maintain long-term sobriety. Aftercare involves support groups that help keep the recovering user in line and accountable.

Methamphetamine, also called crystal meth, is a highly-addictive stimulant with short and long-term health effects. Meth abuse may also result in substance use disorders and mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

This article discusses meth addiction treatment in detail, and how rehab for meth is different than other drugs.

How is rehab for meth different?

Rehab for meth is different than other drugs because it typically involves four steps. These all need to be completed to make a full recovery. The steps are; patient assessment, detox, therapy, and aftercare.

On the other hand, treatment for most drugs, including cocaine and alcohol, mostly incorporate two steps; detox and therapy.


Meth addiction treatment: outpatient vs. inpatient programs

If you or your loved one decide to seek treatment for meth addiction, you will have to choose between the inpatient and outpatient programs. Your choice will significantly depend on personal reasons as well as the extent of addiction.

Outpatient treatment would be ideal if you have a weak addiction and didn’t get a dual diagnosis. You can also opt for it if you have work or school obligations.

Outpatient treatment programs are part-time. Therefore, you can select hours that allow you to continue performing your day-to-day activities. Most treatment centers require their patients to spend at least 12 hours a week at the rehab facilities for counseling and detox.

Inpatient treatment is recommended if you have abused meth for an extended time. Most chronic abusers usually experience extreme withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, relapse is pretty common

Inpatient rehab centers provide a stable environment where you get meth addiction treatment without the danger of relapse. The program can last for 1-3 months, depending on the severity of the addiction and individual needs.

Meth addiction treatment: The steps in treatment.

Although treatment of meth addiction is challenging due to the drug’s addictive nature and psychological factors, several treatment options are available. Most treatment facilities offer treatment options that deal with both substance addiction and mental health conditions as a package. This is commonly called co-occurring disorders, or a dual diagnosis. 

Every meth addiction treatment plan has four steps; patient assessment, detox, therapy, and counseling. 

Patient assessment

Before your doctor prescribes treatment, you will undergo a patient assessment. The assessment determines your addiction level and the type of care you will need. You will also undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether or not you have underlying mental health issues that require treatment.



Detox is the process where methamphetamine is expelled from your body. Usually, methamphetamine abuse builds your tolerance and leads to physical dependence. Therefore, when you decide to quit, you will experience withdrawal symptoms.

Most medical practitioners usually recommend medical-assisted detox because it is safer and has proved successful. Additionally, doctors can monitor your vital signs and prescribe drugs to make the withdrawal stage bearable. For instance, your doctor can prescribe benzodiazepines if you panic or become agitated as your body adjusts to functioning without meth.


Therapy is the next step after detox. Most treatment centers adopt Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing your behavior to halt unhealthy patterns. 

During CBT, you will learn the underlying reasons for the meth abuse and drug-free ways to deal with stress. Additionally, you learn to recognize your emotional or environmental triggers, stop the negative impulses, and use healthy coping mechanisms.

CBT has proved effective in treating meth addiction and co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression.

Matrix model

Some treatment centers opt for the matrix model, a 16-week behavioral treatment program for meth addicts. The matrix model combines behavioral therapy, family therapy, drug testing, drug-free activities, and a 12-step component.

Support groups

For you to retain your sobriety, you need aftercare. Support groups are an aftercare method that works for most people that previously struggled with drug addiction.

The two most common support groups for recovering meth addicts are; Crystal Meth Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

These support groups give recovering meth addicts a sense of belonging, mutual trust, and friendship with people who have similar experiences.

Crystal Meth Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have a 12-step-programs that aim at personal growth and relapse prevention. In this program, members inventory their day-to-day lives. They also make amends with those they hurt due to their addiction and support other recovering addicts by disclosing their personal experiences.


Support groups are free, and anyone recovering from meth addiction can join. You can also get a sponsor of your gender to guide you through the 12 steps.

Alternatively, you can opt for Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART), a model that incorporates CBT and 12-step programs elements.

Using medication to reduce meth cravings

Although the FDA has not yet approved medication that helps with meth cravings, a few successfully reduce meth cravings in most patients. They include;

1. Bupropion - several clinical trials have concluded that bupropion can reduce meth craving in patients who have a less severe addiction.

2. Dextroamphetamine - medical trials on the effect of dextroamphetamine in meth addiction treatment found that patients who used the drug were less likely to relapse.

3. Nicotine - small amounts of nicotine may prevent meth cravings in people whose meth addiction is not severe.

4. Rivastigmine - a recent study revealed that this drug might be effective in reducing meth cravings.

5. Naltrexone - studies show that naltrexone may prevent meth cravings and inhibit meth-seeking behavior.

Do treatment facilities use any medication in meth addiction treatment?

Most treatment facilities use medication during detox and treatment for meth addiction. However, the type of medication varies with each facility.

At the moment, there aren’t any FDA-approved medications for meth addiction treatment. However, rehab centers may prescribe medication that offers promising results in managing withdrawal symptoms and reducing meth cravings.


Why should you get treatment for meth addiction?

Using crystal meth has significant social, medical, and psychological effects. They include but are not limited to:

Start your recovery journey today!

Meth addiction is challenging to treat, but it is not impossible. With the proper treatment, you or your loved one can make a full recovery and live a healthy, drug-free life.

At MoreThanRehab, we offer high-quality, individualized treatment for meth addiction. We offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Our qualified staff will walk you through every stage of your addiction recovery. 

Call us today to start your recovery journey.