Cartels Are Shipping Thousands of Pounds of Meth Into Texas

The National Drug Intelligence Center reported that Mexican drug cartels have come up with extensive drug distribution and transportation networks along the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. 

According to the intelligence center, the drug trafficking networks extend from Texas to all other states in the US. The cartels have drug suppliers in most, if not all, the states.

Law enforcement officers in Texas have, on several occasions, seized drugs from traffickers in the area. Some of the most common drugs seized in Texas are: methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana.

 Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, or crystal meth is an addictive stimulant that harms the general health and well-being of those who use it. It is a controlled substance, and its potential for abuse is relatively high.

This article discusses meth abuse in Texas and how cartels are shipping thousands of pounds of meth into Texas.

cartels-are-shipping-thousands-of-pounds-of-liquid-meth-into-Texas-Austin-border-patrol-crime-immigration

Meth abuse in Texas

A 2017 survey revealed that approximately 120,000 Texas residents aged over 12 years abuse meth every year. In 2018, there were over 950 deaths involving meth abuse. Additionally, 570 calls to the poison center were related to meth.

The Addiction Research Institute (ARI) also researched meth abuse in Texas. The research revealed that there were 12,385 treatment admissions of Texas residents. Treatment facilities admitted most of them due to meth abuse.

Why is meth abuse prevalent in Texas?

Meth abuse is prevalent in Texas for several reasons. For starters, Texas shares a 1254-mile border with Mexico. The border has proved difficult to fence since it is on an extensive stretch of land. Therefore, there are no physical barriers between Texas and Mexico, making it easy for cartels to transport their merchandise to the United States across the border.

Another reason is that there are thousands of acres of unoccupied land in Texas, specifically in southeast Texas. This gives traffickers ample time and space to ensure their meth supply reaches the intended destinations with no interruptions.

The Gulf of Mexico is also a contributing factor since it allows drug traffickers to use narco submarines, boats, and other crafts for their illegal business.

Cartels

Recently, according to the Tarrant County Sheriff Office, Texas, seized over 1400 pounds of liquid methamphetamine in five weeks. According to them, the street value of the seized liquid meth is $ 16 million dollars. Although officers made arrests during the drug bust, they declined to reveal further details citing ongoing investigations by undercover officers and surveillance. 

Bill Waybourn, the Tarrant County Sheriff, confirmed that authorities seized the drugs on two different occasions. On the first occasion, police officers pulled over a vehicle whose license plate matched a car someone had reported stolen. The seizure led to further investigations which resulted in a second seizure. 

Special agent Eduardo Chavez, DEA Dallas division, said that the liquid methamphetamine they seized was 99% pure. He also noted they were sure a drug cartel was behind the illegal trade.

meth-lab-ran-by-Mexican-drug-cartels-shipping-methamphetamine-into-Houston-Texas-El-Paso

Investigator Calvin Bond, who works in Tarrant County, said they suspect the drug cartels targets locations like Dallas-Fort Worth because they are closer to Mexico. Additionally, he said they suspect the meth was produced in meth labs in Mexico, converted to liquid meth, then smuggled to the States through the Texas border. When the liquid meth reaches its intended destination, distributers crystallize it and sell it in the streets.

Police departments, the DEA, and the Sheriff’s office helped in the investigations.

Texas meth penalties

In Texas, meth attracts severe penalties. This is because meth use has become more prevalent in the past few years. To deter Texas residents from using meth, law enforcement officers, judges, and courts put stringent measures in place. If you are found in possession of meth, you will face harsh penalties, including hefty fines and jail time.

The penalties vary depending on the amount of meth the accused person had. The judges also consider the facts of the case and one’s criminal history.

Here is a breakdown of penalties you are likely to face;

Why treatment for meth addiction is difficult

Compared to alcohol and drug abuse, treatment for meth addiction is relatively difficult for several reasons. For starters, there are no medications to help with the rehabilitation and treatment efforts.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) has proved to be very efficient in easing withdrawal effects and preventing relapses. It is an essential tool in most addiction treatment center programs. Unfortunately, there are no FDA-approved medications for meth addiction treatment. This makes detox for meth addiction overwhelming to most patients.

Another major cause for concern is the ease of access. Between the 1990s and 2000s, there was an extensive crackdown on meth labs in the United States, most of which were located in Texas, specifically in the San Antonio and Houston areas. Some were small operations while others were quite big, inside large warehouses. When the government became strict after the crackdown, most labs closed down.

smuggling-drugs-meth-abuse-arrest-crime-in-Houston-Texas-drug-rehab-addiction-treatment-centers

Today, most meth in the United States is supplied by Mexican drug cartels. It is very potent and quite affordable. A report by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) revealed that the current price of meth is the lowest they have ever seen. Therefore, addicts undergoing treatment can easily relapse since meth is easily accessible and affordable.

Rehab options for people addicted to meth

Different treatment centers have a variety of rehab options for meth addicts. Most treatment facilities use behavioral therapies in the treatment of meth addiction.

At More Than Rehab, we have a comprehensive meth rehabilitation program. Our staff is excellently equipped to deal with meth addiction treatment and other underlying mental issues. We focus on ensuring that the patient is healthy both physically and mentally.

Considering that currently, there is no FDA-approved medication to help those in treatment deal with treatment effects, we incorporate a combination of group therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), relapse prevention, and contingency management to make the recovery process more manageable.

If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, contact us for professional help. We offer meth addiction treatment to all persons regardless of addiction severity. Let us help you turn your life around.

888-249-2191

Why Do I Keep Using Meth? Ways to Stay Clean

You’ve gone through recovery, and things are starting to fall back into place. But for one reason or the other, you slip and end up using meth. So, you start over again, only to find yourself in what feels like square one – using meth, yet again.

So, now, you can’t help but wonder why this is happening. Why you keep using meth despite your desire and effort to quit. Well, if it’s any consolation, you are not alone.

Many people who struggle with meth addiction end up relapsing even after rehabilitation. According to the National Institute of Drug Use, 40 to 60% of people in recovery end up relapsing.

After a relapse, you may experience feelings of regret or shame. You may also feel like throwing in the towel and giving into your addiction instead of fighting the desire to use. Depending on how long you’ve been using, you may suffer from meth mouth and this can also worsen your feelings of shame.

While it’s devastating, you should know that relapse doesn’t mean you are a failure. It doesn’t mean the rehab you underwent was unsuccessful or negate your previous efforts to stay clean. But it also doesn’t mean you should take advantage of the situation and continue using.

Why does relapse happen?

Your relapse has to do with neural pathways. A pathway forms when you do something right. A pathway also forms when you do something wrong, like use crystal meth.

Human beings build habits this way, both good and bad. So, the reason you keep using meth is that you’re likely going to slip back into existing neural pathways. Let’s break this down further.

Causes of relapse

Studies show that the initial target of highly addictive drugs like meth is the brain’s reward circuit. The reward circuit registers essential experiences and events and their adaptive value. Then it provides incentives for actions.

This reward process triggers the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, a feel-good hormone that tells the brain to do it again. When used habitually, meth depletes the supply of dopamine and interferes with the feedback between different brain parts that coordinate desires with expectations and priorities.

But these changes are not necessarily the problem. Quitting meth use temporarily can be easy. You can go for days, weeks, months, or even years without meth. What makes permanent recovery challenging is a drug-induced change that creates lasting memories.

Your brain already knows the rewarding experience that comes from drug use. After a period of use, your environment becomes marked with cues or reminders of the reward. This learning is referred to as behavioral conditioning. And since methamphetamine addiction weakens your self-control and ability to make the right decision, you’re likely to keep using even when you know that a reward isn’t coming.

As you’ve learned from support groups like Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholic Anonymous, it’s the first drink that gets you drunk. So, a small dose of crystal meth serves as an effective cue. But places, things, and people, too, can be cues associated with meth.

An animal struggling with substance abuse will slip back to using when it goes back to the cage where it first developed the addiction. For people, triggers could be environment, the sight of paraphernalia, mental health issues, peers and so on.

Withdrawal symptoms are also a common reason many methamphetamine users relapse. Symptoms like anxiety, fatigue, sleepiness, depression, psychosis, meth cravings, etc., may linger on for weeks or months, causing relapse.

Getting back on the road to recovery

Irrespective of how committed you are to lifelong sobriety or how diligently you pursue recovery, there’s a chance of relapse. The National Institutes of Health study notes that about 40-60% relapse within a month or more of treatment. Another 70 -90% will relapse at least once.

But the good news is that the risk diminishes with time. Extended abstinence does predict long-term recovery, according to an eight-year study on nearly 1200 addicts. In fact, if you can make it to five years of sobriety, then your chance of relapse is less than 15%.

Ways to stay clean

Get help from a reputable addiction treatment center

Recovery for meth addiction needs a holistic meth treatment plan that consists of detox, therapy, and counseling. Depending on the circumstances recovery may also include medical advice. Meth is one of the hardest drugs to overcome. But treatment facilities in central Texas exist to help people like you regain control over their lives.

Such facilities will also address underlying issues that cause the relapse. For instance, they may offer family therapy that helps your family members to understand that relapse is not a sign of weakness or lack of morals. They will also offer mental health services to address psychological issues that may cause relapse.

Know the triggers of relapse and avoid them

Understanding the triggers of relapse and having a plan for those triggers are the first steps toward prevention. Triggers include things like:

 

Create new habits

Old habits will most certainly lead you back to addiction. So, you want to come up with new ones that will help you grow into the person you want to become. You can try out a new hobby, take up a new class, exercise, etc. Trying a new activity gives you something to look forward to. It also reduces the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that may lead to relapse.

Like other chronic diseases such as asthma and heart disease, treatment for drug addiction isn’t a cure. It only allows you to counteract the disruptive effects of addiction on your brain and behavior and regain control of your life. But with these tips, you should be able to manage your addiction and relapse problems successfully.

Why is Meth so Hard to Quit?

Methamphetamine, speed, ice, or crystal meth is hard to quit simply because it is one of the most addictive drugs known to exist. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s methamphetamine was a major problem in Texas and across the whole nation because the ingredients were relatively easy to obtain at your local, street corner drug stores. The availability of ephedrine and other cold medications used to manufacture meth was at a high point. Then, between 2005-2006, the United States Federal Government began regulating the cold medicines used to manufacture meth. This created a decrease in meth production, coupled with a decrease in social indicators of misuse and abuse for the drug.

This decline in drug abuse indicators for meth continued until fairly recently. Methamphetamine has made quite the comeback, especially in southern and western states, partially due to the influence of the Mexican drug cartels. This new methamphetamine epidemic has been overshadowed by the constant media headlines of the opioid epidemic. While many politicians, governing agencies and the news media are focused on heroin and prescription pain killer overdose deaths, meth is silently killing thousands of Americans every year. Sadly, it appears only to be getting worse.

Methamphetamine is incredibly addictive, which makes meth hard to quit.

With the US crackdown on meth labs in the early 2000’s, we have a new precursor to methamphetamine manufacture known as phenyl-2-propanoe (P2P). This is what the Mexican drug cartels use in meth production that makes their versions so much more potent. The increase in meth potency from south of the border also makes the substance much, much more addictive. The intoxicating effects of Mexican meth is far greater that what we saw just a decade ago coming from American meth labs. The potency alone contributes to substance abuse and addiction at a far higher rate than we’ve seen in the past.

In Houston, Texas, the presence of methamphetamine is at an all time high, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Meth lab seizures in Texas are virtually non-existent, however as the majority of the drug seizures in the United States can be traced back to Mexico. Meth from Mexico is typically transported to the US in liquid form. The liquid methamphetamine is smuggled into the US in modified gas tanks. This liquid meth is then converted into its typical crystal form at conversion labs here in the US. This is commonly a much more potent form of the drug than we’ve seen in the past. Lab testing in 2007 showed an average meth purity level of 39 percent. Today, meth found on the streets in the US typically tests around a level of 93 percent purity.

drug-addiction-recovery-program-outside-Houston-Texas

The greater availability and increased potency of meth, means more abuse and more drug overdoses.

Stimulant overdoses from cocaine and meth are the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the state of Texas. Fentanyl overdose deaths are also spiking currently and many attribute this to the increase in stimulant overdoses. This is somewhat ironic, as fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, which is quite the opposite of a stimulant. However, drug dealers in Texas will order the drug from China and mix it in with their supply of cocaine, methamphetamine or counterfeit prescription pills. No one is completely certain as to why drug dealers mix fentanyl with drugs that are supposed to have the exact opposite effect, but it may be to increase the perceived potency of their drugs, or it might even be entirely accidental. Some drug labs or pill mills (which Houston is notoriously known for), may manufacture or cut different drugs with the same lab equipment, which can lead to unintentional cross-contamination of drugs. Fentanyl is so deadly that just a dose the size of 3 grains of salt is enough to kill an average human being.

Houston-Texas-Drug-Overdose-Statistics

Many who abuse methamphetamine are also known to use other substances as well. The Chicago Tribune recently ran a story about dual addiction, titled: “Meth in the morning, heroin at night”. Across the nation, meth use is on the rise and many experts are saying the opioid epidemic has given crystal meth a resurgence. Opioid users who admit to using meth as well has gone up from 19% in 2011 to 34% in 2018. This evidence suggests that as doctors began to cut back on writing prescriptions for opioids, that many users began to seek street drugs like meth and heroin.

For others, methamphetamine and opioids can offer a type of synergistic high. The two types of drugs in combination can sort of balance each other out, making it seem that the user is able to function normally. In the past, the term “speedball” (which was a mix of heroin and cocaine) was used to describe the balancing of two, seemingly opposite drugs. This combination has been deadly, killing many people, including notable celebrities such as: John Belushi, Chris Farley, Ken Caminiti, Mitch Hedberg, Chris Kelly and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

In theory, the meth combats the opioid’s drowsiness, while the opioid balances out the erratic, spastic “tweakiness” of the methamphetamine. Many people who abuse any type of drug end up “chasing the dragon” trying to feel “normal” again. For some people, their “normal” is constantly changing. This happens as their body’s tolerance to the drugs they’re using fluctuates, or the potency or types of drugs they are currently using can change rapidly as well. This is a dangerous balancing act, one that has led many people to dangerous and deadly consequences.

Meth is a drug that is very hard to quit. The crisis at the US-Mexico border has helped create a meth-overdose epidemic.                  

While the opioid crisis appears to be slowing-down, a new meth-fueled crisis is poised to take its place. It is estimated that 774,000 Americans used methamphetamine in 2017. When US lawmakers cracked-down on the manufacture of meth in the mid-2000’s, it worked. That is, until the Mexican drug cartels filled-in the gap. Now meth is available in virtually every community across the United States. While it is extremely important to keep focusing efforts on combating the opioid epidemic, we should be looking at ways to help people who need treatment for an addiction. This act alone would cut down on the demand for these dangerous drugs, which is the first step towards truly combating the problem.

If you or someone you know needs help with a substance abuse problem, please don’t hesitate to call us at More Than Rehab. We are available 24/7 to help or your loved one create the foundation to live a better life. We offer the best in evidence-based addiction treatment in the greater Houston area. Please don’t wait any longer, call us right away:

(888) 249-2191