How Mexican Drug Cartels Affect Texas

According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration reports, Mexican drug cartels are responsible for the majority of drugs smuggled into the country. The far-reaching influence of these well-organized crime groups that ascertain their dominance through fear and violence continues to be astounding.

While Mexican cartels have major influence across the country, the most affected state has been Texas.

Why is Texas a prime spot for drug trafficking?

Texas has for decades been a hot spot for most Mexican drug cartels as the state shares 1254 miles of border with Mexico. This has been made worse as most of the state, especially the South Texas HIDTA region, primarily consists of thousands of acres of unoccupied land.

The presence of the Gulf of Mexico further escalates the problem as the huge water body enables drug traffickers to use small boats, narco submarines, and pleasure crafts for their illegal trade.

What about the border fence and patrols?

Is it possible to have a United States-Mexico border that covers every inch between these countries?

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Well, that is a question that still demands a lot of research and billions of dollars in investment. Texas has particularly proven to be extremely challenging to fence as it has huge stretches of land that do not have physical barriers.

The flat desert areas and floodplains also present another challenge, making an end-to-end border fence an idea whose implementation depends on many geographical, economic, and legal aspects. However, recently in a bold move, Texas Governor Greg Abbott unveiled border wall plans as a part of his security action to keep Texans and Americans safer.

On a brighter side, part of the border fence built in strategic areas has helped Border Patrol and law enforcement increase surveillance and capture hundreds of cartel members. But, this has not deterred Mexican drug cartels from coming up with new ways of drug trafficking that allow them to move around, under, or through these barriers.

The growing impacts of drug trade on Texas

The Mexican drug cartel has proven to be the mythical hydra that replaces each head cut by two others. In 2014, after the capture of Joaquin Guzman, popularly known as El Chapo, who was a high-ranking leader of the Sinaloa cartel, it was expected that drug activities would sharply decline.

However, it seems that capturing drug lords is not a long-term solution to breaking down the empires worth hundreds of millions of dollars. With access to so much money, it is always a matter of time before new leaders emerge or new groups are formed.

For example, after El Chapo was extradited to the USA and his cartel operations were greatly affected by the arrests of many cartel members; breakaway members formed a new group. This group is the Jalisco New Generation Cartel that has rapidly grown and is currently attributed to more than 30% of the drugs in the United States.

Since Texas is the epicenter of drug trafficking to the USA, it has not been spared from the wrath of this illegal trade. Law enforcement is now paying more attention to the impacts of Mexican cartels operation in Texas as it is a problem that can no longer be ignored.

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The major and pressing problems linked to the influence and operations of Mexican cartels in Texas are:

One of the biggest concerns today is how Mexican drug cartel members use young people, especially teenagers, for drug trafficking. After crossing the Mexican border, these cartels need a way to ensure the passage of drugs discreetly. The perfect bait has been found, and these are young and innocent children who are given an opportunity to make easy money.

It is heartbreaking that teenagers as young as 12 have pleaded guilty to helping cartel members to smuggle drugs, like heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine into the United States. This trend is expected to grow as cartels are now targeting young people using social media, making it harder to control the number of smugglers who could be recruited.

One of the long-term impacts of the drug trade is that it leads to a rise in human and sex trafficking. Texas has not been spared from these illegal activities as Mexican cartels are busy moving people and drugs into the country.

Border communities have been most affected by these activities as they often come face to face with the violent and daring gatekeepers facilitating cross-border smuggling.

There is never a peaceful drug trade as each cartel always aims for supremacy on valuable trade routes and markets. The drug war in Mexico is facilitated by the high number of weapons acquired from the United States and the many local gangs facilitating drug sales.

These local gangs have proven to be quite crafty as they now sell narcotics as prescription drugs or magic mushrooms. Unfortunately, this is a gaping hole that many young people have fallen into, leading to a severe public health pandemic. Yearly, the statistics worsen as more people overdose on these drugs and suffer from a heart attack while countless more become addicts.

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Every month millions of dollars are smuggled back into Mexico as proceeds from the drug trade. In turn, money launderers in Texas and across the nation have become an integral part of cartel operations as they ease money flow. This has become such a big concern as, on the one hand, it hurts the local economy, and on the other hand, it makes Mexican cartels stronger.

On a national level, this has necessitated the attorney general and U.S law enforcement agencies to collaborate with Mexico in the fight against drug cartels. However, despite the massive strides that have been made, especially in the seizure of laundered money and property, Mexican cartels still stick out like a sore thumb.

Stay safe in Texas

The overreaching impacts of the Mexican drug cartels in Texas call for great public awareness on the devastating impacts of drugs. At a personal level, it also mandates great self-control to avoid falling victim to the alluring lifestyle that cartels use to recruit more local members.

Luckily, you are not alone, as More Than Rehab is here to help you avoid becoming entrapped in substance abuse or aiding these cartels in drug smuggling or money laundering. In the end, the easy money and flashy lifestyle that cartels portray is short-lived and will cause more pain than good. If you are in immediate danger or need help, call 911. If you need a safe rehab to get clean, call us.

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Common Ways Addicts Store or Hide Their Drugs

Anyone who has ever known or loved an addict knows just how far they would go to continue getting high and they would also never question their ingenuity when it comes to trying to conceal or hide their drugs from others. If there is one thing in common between all people who suffer from the disease of addiction, it would certainly have to be the fact that they all lie, at least in one way or another. Many will tell you until they are blue in the face that they haven’t been using drugs or alcohol, even though they are under the influence at the same time they are telling you that.

For any parent of an addict, it can be extremely difficult to trust or believe your child when they tell you that they are no longer getting high, especially if they haven't changed any of their behaviors or actions. Perhaps you have found drugs and paraphernalia in your child’s bedroom before and insisted that they throw it out, never to be brought back in the house again.

Even though they may have the best of intentions, sometimes quitting drugs and alcohol just isn’t that easy. If you are the parent of a teen, or young adult, and have concerns that they are still abusing drugs or alcohol, then keep reading.

Here are some of the most common ways that addicts hide their drugs.

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Writing Utensils

A popular way that teens hide drugs is inside of writing utensils. While that highlighter sitting on their desk or hiding in their pencil pouch may seem harmless enough, it may be used to store pills, marijuana, or even powdered substances. Simply pop off the back and the highlighter instantaneously turns into a pipe for marijuana. There are many videos on the internet teaching teens or young adults how to do just that.

Prop Soda Bottles, Cans, or Candy Containers

A quick search on the internet will turn up tons of fake items used to conceal or hide drugs. Things like unopened soda bottles, soda cans, or candy boxes can actually be stash spots for drugs. If you see the same soda bottle all the time or the same candy wrapper, try opening it up to see what's really inside. If it is a fake item, it will usually have a place to twist open, revealing a hidden compartment.

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Belt Buckles

Who knew that belt buckles were not just for fashion anymore? Well, apparently, they are often used as a way to conceal drugs. Somehow, people have found a way to change these buckles into a secret compartment to hide their drugs. If you suspect that your child is using their belt buckle to conceal drugs, try flipping it over to see if the back slides off.

Hygiene and Makeup Supplies

That makeup bag on the floor in the bedroom, or on the counter in the bathroom, may be serving a more illicit purpose than you might originally think. A lot of make-up supplies come in a tube that can be hollowed out for drug storage. Things like lipstick, lip balm, deodorant, mascara, or hair products can be great hiding spots for people trying to conceal their drugs.

Posters, Wall Hangings, Picture Frames

Don’t let that seemingly innocent boy band poster fool you, teens or young adults have been known to flatten their drugs and hang them behind posters or other wall hangings. Picture frames also make a great spot to hide their drugs, as they can open up the back and stash them inside. Look for tape that is constantly peeling or a corner that looks like it's been folded back and forth if you suspect your child of hiding drugs.

 

Socks and Shoes

Socks and shoes are also extremely common, but not in the way you might think. While some have been known to stash drugs just inside the sock or the shoe, many also have hidden pockets that can be used to conceal drugs as well. Try looking inside the shoe to determine if there are any other areas that might be used to hide drugs. Socks can also have hidden pockets, so be sure to check those too.

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Vehicles

While not necessarily in the home, vehicles are another common way that people hide their drugs. You may be prone to searching their room, but how often are you checking their car? If you suspect your child of using drugs, it may be wise to thoroughly inspect their vehicle. Check places like behind the dashboard, under the seats, or even under the hood.

Vents and Toilets

Air vents are easy to remove and put back on, making it an ideal spot to put something that isn't meant to be discovered. Another popular place to hide drugs is underneath the toilet tank lid. Both are easy, quick, and inconspicuous options when it comes to concealing drugs. Many would not think to check in the air vent or under the toilet tank lid, which is why these are popular options. A quick look in both of these places may ease your mind if you suspect your child of hiding drugs.

Inhalers

When an item is necessary for one’s health, it tends to fall under even less suspicion. But, nevertheless, inhalers have become a popular place to hide drugs. Once the inhaler has been taken apart, it becomes a clever place to stash drugs. This is a great place to check if you are concerned about your child, especially if the inhaler doesn't belong to them.

Game Consoles or Electronics

For those who are even slightly inclined, storing drugs in game consoles or electronic devices can prove to be very easy. Loosen up a few screws here and a few screws there, then voila, a perfect hiding place for drugs. Look for signs that the electronic has been tampered with or taken apart and put back together.

These are just a few of the most common places that people may use to hide their drugs when they don’t want them to be found. If you suspect your loved one may have developed problem with drugs or alcohol, we are here to help! Our trained addiction specialists at More Than Rehab can help answer any questions you might have. We know how to treat and manage substance abuse disorders, and would love the chance to offer help for your family.

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How Do Drug Cartels Affect Drug Flow Into The US?

Mexican transnational organized crime groups, often referred to as cartels, have spent several decades establishing intricate, complex routes and connections to smuggle illegal drugs across the United States and Mexico border. Border Patrol, and other governing agencies such as the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), have been waging war against these drug trafficking organizations for as long as these cartels have been in operation.

The problem with these cartels is that even when one drug smuggling avenue or connection is shut down, they quickly find a new way to continue bringing these illegal, harmful substances across the American-Mexican border. So much so that a new wall has been approved by the US government in hopes to decrease illegal immigration and drug smuggling efforts. While this is a major problem for many states such as New Mexico and California, Texas is another state that is primarily affected by the operation of these Mexican drug cartels.

The History of Drug Cartels Influence in the United States

The Mexican drug war began in 2007 and was led by the American government. Mexican officials made an effort to decrease drug-related violence in association with the drug flow into the United States. Although Mexican drug cartels have been around for a while, their influence only grew in size with the demise of Columbian Cali and Medellin cartels in the 1990’s. Since then, it has been estimated that these Mexican drug cartels are responsible for more than 90% of the cocaine that is currently being smuggled into the United States.

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How Texas is Affected by the Influence of Mexican Drug Cartels

Unfortunately, Texas has become a primary hotspot for Mexican cartels to smuggle these drugs across the border. South Texas has become the primary point of entry for cocaine that is being smuggled across the Mexican border into the United States. More cocaine and heroin have been seized in Texas than any other state along the Mexican border (Arizona, California, and New Mexico).

Significant amounts of methamphetamine have also been seized in the Texas area, consistently topping the charts in comparison to other border states. Texas has what is known as the South Texas HIDTA region, this stands for high intensity drug trafficking area. Texas and Mexico share 1254 miles of common border, and there are at least 28 different ways to cross the border between them; including bridges, border crossings, and other crossings that allow personal or commercial travel between them.

The border of South Texas begins in the Western portion of Val Verde County and extends to both Willacy and Cameron counties along the Gulf of Mexico. This area of Texas is largely populated in three areas; the Del Rio or Eagle Pass, Laredo, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The rest of the South Texas HIDTA region remains largely unpopulated with big stretches of rural or uninhabited land. Drug cartels take advantage of this widespread and massive area to smuggle drugs across the Texas and Mexican border. Interestingly enough, Texas shares the title for the state with the highest rates of drug seizure, coming in alongside Arizona with a total of over 7 million pounds of illegal drugs being seized between a recent four year span.

It is not uncommon for these pieces of land to also serve as a sort of temporary storage facility for drug shipments before sending them to larger cities and towns within the border area. They use places like ranches, local residences, or warehouses and trailers to conceal these illegal substances before sending them off to different parts of the country.

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San Antonio, Texas serves as one of the largest Mexican cartel transnational shipment centers, shipping a wide variety of illicit drugs, such as; heroin, marijuana, and crystal meth. To transport these drugs, Mexican cartels often exploit the transportation infrastructure that is already in place for transporting legal goods across the border, as Texas has become Mexico's number one trading partner. Mexican drug cartels also use things like personal vehicles and tractor trailers as well as commercial vehicles.

Located in the South Texas HIDTA region is an area commonly referred to as the Nuevo Laredo Plaza. This has become the most lucrative drug smuggling corridor along the Mexican and Texas border. It is located directly across the Rio Grande River from Laredo at the Laredo Point of Entry. The Laredo Point of Entry has become the busiest commercial Point of Entry in North America; as a result, it has been the focal point for many violent conflicts between competing Mexican drug cartels. This has become a centralized location where they are able to take advantage of the existing transportation to smuggle drugs across the border.  Additionally, over 55% of all rail traffic from Mexico to the US enter the United States through Laredo.

Human Trafficking is Commonly Associated With Drug Smuggling

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Another way that these Mexican drug cartels are able to smuggle drugs across the border is through the horrendous act of human trafficking. It is estimated that out of all the foreigners being trafficked into the country, more than a quarter, or one fourth, of them enter the country through the Mexican border. Many of these people are forced, or coerced, into smuggling drugs into the United States by violent Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Sadly, nearly one third of all the calls received by the National Human Trafficking Hotline are made from inside the state of Texas.

The war on drugs has been occurring for decades and these Mexican cartels are constantly finding new ways to complete their illegal activities. Despite the efforts of law enforcement they have been able to thrive, but there may be a solution in sight. We hope that with continued efforts we will finally be able to get a better handle on the drug trade occurring in Texas along the Mexican border.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please do not hesitate to reach out to the proper authorities. There is always someone who will understand your situation and someone who will be willing to help! Help is only a phone call away.

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Drug Trafficking in Texas: Being Aware of How to Get Help

Drug use has long been a problem in the United States and someone who wants to abuse them typically has little to no problem with finding them. Recently, we have seen a spike in opioid overdose deaths, this can be linked to the prescription painkiller epidemic and the illegal manufacturing and sale of fentanyl, a high strength opioid used to cut heroin that is roughly 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is used by drug cartels to increase profits, with little to no care about who might be consuming these drugs containing the highly potent substance. In the year of 2015 alone, there was a 50 percent increase in the number of people found guilty for trafficking drugs related to heroin. With drug abuse still on the rise, drug detection agencies have increased their efforts to crack down on drug trafficking. Unfortunately though, drug cartels operate like a business, and when one trade line is cut off they will always find new and ingenious ways of avoiding law detection.

Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and sale of substances that are subject to drug prohibition laws such as marijauna, cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin. For example, someone who is found manufacturing methamphetamines in his basement and later caught selling it to people on the street is also guilty of drug trafficking. Drug trafficking extends to any part of the illegal manufacturing process or distribution and sale of drugs that have been determined illegal and unsafe for the population by governing officials and law enforcement agencies.

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Types of Drugs Being Trafficked

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has found that Mexican drug cartels are still the biggest threat to America when it comes to the illegal manufacture or delivery of these harmful substances. Mexican drug cartels control a major share of the smuggling and distribution of drugs within the United States. According to the DEA’s drug threat assessment, there are six main Mexican drug cartels that are contributing to this growing problem in the United States. They are known as the Sinaloa, Jalisco New Generation, Jaurez, Gulf, Los Zetas, and the Beltran-Leyva Organization. The DEA has discovered that the areas mainly affected by the illegal drug trade are ones that lie closer to the Mexican border.

 

Top Districts in the US for Drug Trafficking

  1. Western District of Texas
  2. Southern District of Texas
  3. District of Arizona
  4. Southern District of California
  5. District of New Mexico

Due to its close proximity with Mexico, the state of Texas is the most heavily affected region. These Mexican drug cartels smuggle their drugs across the border and begin distributing them throughout the state. Interestingly enough though, marijuana is the drug with the highest conviction rate in Texas, due to the influx of Mexican weed that is coming across the border. Texas is also has the fourth highest rate per capita for drug trafficking sentences with an average sentence lasting around 77 months (about 6 ½ years).

In response to this growing crisis, Texas government officials enacted what is known today as the Texas Controlled Substances Act. It defines drug trafficking as the manufacturing or delivery of controlled substances. In the state of Texas, being convicted for trafficking drugs is a felony and considered a very serious crime.

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Texas Controlled Substances Act

In Texas, you can commit three different actions that will be treated as a drug trafficking criminal offense.

  1. Transporting- When an individual knowingly transports drugs in a vehicle from one location to another. Any physical movement of drugs from one place to another is considered transporting.
  2. Distribution-  When an individual knowingly distributes drugs from one person to another. Transferring drugs in any way to another individual is considered distribution, so if someone is selling drugs out of their apartment they can and will be prosecuted for drug trafficking.
  3. Possessing with Intent to Distribute- When an individual knowingly possesses drugs with the intent to distribute them to at least one other person. So if someone is found with a stash of drugs and has not yet distributed them, but had every intention to do so, this is also considered drug trafficking.

Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, there are 5 different penalty groups for the severity of the crime based upon the amount of drugs found.

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Drug trafficking is taken very seriously in states like Texas as the problem is more apparent. Knowing what to look for can help law enforcement agencies keep the streets safer for yourself and others. Some things to pay attention to are:

A new tenant willing to pay months in advance with cash

These are just a few of the indicators that someone could be taking part in drug trafficking near you. If you suspect someone of trafficking drugs, do not handle the situation on your own as they can be highly dangerous. If you see something, say something, get help by calling your local law enforcement. No tip is ever considered to be too minor.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a dependency on drugs,

please call us today and get help from a rehabilitation specialist.

888-249-2191

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.

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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.

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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

What is the Best Drug Rehabilitation?

Finding the best addiction treatment program for yourself or a loved one can be a confusing process for many. With so many treatment options available, it is difficult for some to find the best drug rehabilitation program that will suit their individual needs. Finding the best drug rehabilitation for your addiction can be one of the most important health care decisions you make in your entire life. Addiction to drugs or alcohol can quickly become a deadly disease. You have a lot of options available to help you, but we want you to make an informed decision on which program will offer the best care for yourself or a loved one.  

What are the different drug rehabilitation treatment types available to cure addiction?

Drug and alcohol medical detox

For most people, a full medical detox will be the first step of their alcohol or drug rehabilitation program. Before your treatment begins, you want to make sure your body and mind are prepared for the often intense withdrawal symptoms you may experience when you first stop using drugs or alcohol. This is why rehab programs will require you to complete a full detox before you begin your stay at a residential drug rehab facility.

Going through a full detox will rid your body of harmful toxins that were built up from past drug and alcohol abuse. The detox will help you get beyond the physical challenges of addiction, such as acute withdrawal symptoms, before you begin to address the mental and behavioral components of your addiction.

Physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms happen for most people when they first stop using drugs or alcohol. Many of these withdrawal symptoms can be eased with the help of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), beginning in the detox phase. These medications are designed to immediately make you feel more comfortable, while reducing your cravings for alcohol and drugs. MATs are considered to be science-driven, evidence based treatments, as they can also help prevent a relapse later on in your recovery from addiction.

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Inpatient alcohol and drug rehabilitation

Ongoing treatment is essential beyond an initial detox when a lifetime of sobriety is your ultimate goal. Entering an inpatient drug rehab facility will help you work through the psychological and emotional problems that contributed to your substance use disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), individual and group counseling, 12 step programs, physical activities, family counseling and a variety of other techniques are employed to varying degrees in nearly every inpatient addiction treatment program. Some inpatient drug rehab programs last an average of 30 days, while others go up to 90 days or more, depending on the severity of the addiction. Some research has shown that the longer a person stays in a treatment program, the more positive the results will be:

"However, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length. Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes.

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
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Inpatient drug rehab programs offer a comfortable group housing arrangement for others who are in similar stages of recovery. These settings are a good start for many people who just recently quit using drugs or alcohol. Inpatient rehab offers the patient a chance to get out of their daily routine, and really focus on the most important thing for their personal health: learning how to stay sober.

Inpatient rehab is absolutely essential when someone has an addiction to multiple substances or an underlying mental health issue that may have contributed to their substance use disorder. When someone has past trauma, it is likely this had heavily contributed to the reasons the addiction developed in the first place. Many have suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness that caused them to self-medicate in an attempt to feel “normal”. This is referred to as a dual diagnosis, and will require more intricate treatment techniques.  

Outpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation

Outpatient rehab offers most of the same forms of treatment as an inpatient facility does, but it allows the flexibility for someone to get treatment for their addiction, while continuing to live at home, go to work or attend school while in rehab. This being the case, it is important to find an outpatient clinic near you.

Most outpatient clinics offer daily individual, group and family therapy sessions, coupled with various other forms of treatment. In many ways, outpatient care is no different from inpatient treatment, you just don’t live at the rehab facility. Typically, most would recommend an outpatient treatment facility to someone who has already completed 30 to 90 days of inpatient rehab.

Outpatient facilities offer patients the opportunity to extend the length of their treatment, while providing a continued foundation for their success in sobriety. Outpatient rehabilitation is also a great way to learn techniques to reduce cravings and prevent a relapse while having the chance to test them out in real world situations. Remember that sticking with a long-term strategy while in recovery is the key to achieving positive outcomes in your addiction treatment.

While the differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment are fairly straightforward, the differences in results will be determined by the individual needs of the patient. The goal of all of these programs is ultimately to help you build a new lifestyle that doesn’t include the use of alcohol or drugs.

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Finding the best drug rehabilitation in the Houston, Texas area

A long term substance abuse problem can have devastating consequences not only for yourself, but for your friends and family members as well. It is never too late to start an addiction recovery program but the sooner you act, the easier it will be. When an addiction goes untreated, the addict is prone to worsening health conditions and at a great risk for an accidental overdose death.

Every 11 minutes, someone dies from an opioid overdose in the United States. As the opioid epidemic rages on, the lives of many Americans are at stake. If you’re reading this, odds are this epidemic has hit close to home for you as well. Know that immediate help is available. At More Than Rehab, we are available to help you 24/7. All you have to do is pick up the phone and make that first call:

888-249-2191

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.

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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.

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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.

888-249-2191

 

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.

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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.

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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: https://morethanrehab.com/2018/11/21/tips-for-a-recovering-addict-during-the-holiday-season/

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.

888-249-2191

How to Get an Affordable Drug Rehab for a Teen in the Houston, Texas Area

How do you find affordable drug rehabilitation for your teen who is struggling with addiction? Drug addiction and alcoholism are common in the Houston, Texas area. Often, there is a negative stigma associated with substance abuse, but having a teen who developed an addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. Addiction is a treatable disease, with the right individualized treatment program, we can help cure your teen from this life-threatening disease.  

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You have come to the right place.

It is likely you have gone through an emotional rollercoaster upon finding out your teen was suffering with the disease of addiction. Maybe you found out that your son or daughter was not only experimenting with drugs and alcohol, but they had developed a full-blown chemical dependency that seems to have taken over every aspect of their life. The lying and secrecy you have experienced from your teenager lately makes you feel like this is no longer the child you once raised. Perhaps you don’t recognize the person they have become. The actions of someone suffering with a substance abuse disorder can have a ripple effect that will impact the entire family. Addiction often comes with self-destructive behaviors that only get worse over time, so now you have decided to take action and do research on how to help your child, whom you care so deeply for.

At More Than Rehab, we offer the best, evidence-based addiction treatment in the Houston area. Hopefully we can help answer some of your questions and get your teen the help they need right now.

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Typically, an adolescent who is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction will require different strategies and treatment plans than our older patients. A teenager who is using drugs or alcohol before the brain is fully developed can develop a chemical dependency much faster than a typical adult. The human brain does not fully develop until the age of 25. As such, teens experience stronger emotional reactions in their thinking patterns. While an adult brain processes their decision making in the prefrontal cortex, a developing teen processes information with the amygdala, which is the emotional center of the brain.

Not only do teens have different cognitive abilities than adults, most who use drugs are attempting to compensate for their inward feelings of depression, low self-esteem, family or school troubles and possibly another mental illness. Many teens will need a dual-diagnosis approach to substance abuse treatment. This will address not only the addiction, but also any other underlying mental health issues they may be experiencing.

Because experimentation with drugs and alcohol is sadly a common occurrence for many American teenagers, most kids will not think they need rehabilitation. As you are looking for an affordable care option to treat your child’s addiction, consider staging an intervention to help them understand the need for professional help. When you do confront your teen about their substance abuse, use your words wisely and approach the situation with compassion, understanding and care. Let them know how much you love them. Use compassion as the basis for your discussions about their behavior. Once you have completed the intervention, make sure you have a location picked out so you can begin their recovery right away.

The negative stigma that is commonly associated with addiction is the reason many people do not seek help. It can be a struggle for them to admit they need help. Denial can be a symptom of your child’s own shame and guilt associated with their alcohol and drug abuse. Many teens will try to hide their substance abuse out of the fear of being judged. Let them know they are not “in trouble” but that their continued drug use could cause them a lot of problems later in life. Help them understand that drug and alcohol abuse can lead them two places: in jail, or dead from an overdose. As we see the staggering numbers of people who die in the United States every single year, (72,000 overdose deaths in 2017 alone) the time to get serious about helping people with addiction is now.

Find Affordable Drug Rehabilitation Centers in the Houston, Texas Area.

For parents or legal guardians of a teen who is battling addiction or another mental illness, the benefits of rehabilitation and treatment far outweigh the costs. While there are numerous treatment centers out there, you will want to choose the one that is best suited to meet your loved one’s individual needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the nation’s addiction problem. Your teen, just like everybody else has a unique set of circumstances that each play a part in their overall problem with addiction. Many rehabilitation centers have different treatment plans for different substances. The best rehab for your teen should be flexible and offer a wide-range of treatment options that can be formulated to best suit their needs.

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), your health insurance can help you pay for addiction treatment.

The ACA, commonly referred to as “Obamacare” mandates that mental health and substance abuse treatment be covered as one of the essential health benefits. If you have insurance in Texas, these benefits are mandated under the state’s medical insurance exchange. (To learn more, visit the Texas Health Options website). The ACA also expanded funding for treatment to Americans covered under Medicare and Medicaid. As a benefit for your child who may be struggling with addiction, the ACA allows individuals under the age of 26 to remain on their parents’ health insurance plan. If you have any questions about your coverage, please fill out our secure, online insurance verification form on our website.

At More Than Rehab, we strive to provide the best possible care, at little to no cost for you out of pocket. With the help of your insurance plan, rehab doesn’t have to cost a fortune. We believe that cost should never prevent someone from receiving the help they need to overcome their addiction. If you feel that treatment is not affordable, or you do not currently have insurance, there may be state and private assistance options available to help you.

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Public Assistance Options for Alcohol & Drug Rehabilitation That Are Available to You.

Various state and private assistance resources are available to help those in need. The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA is a good place to start. They have a state-by-state list of agencies available to help you find treatment in your local area. Contacting these agencies will help you find out what services and programs may be available to treat your teen’s substance abuse. Your state agency may also help you find a variety of private and public faith-based treatment programs. These agencies are great resources to help you find available treatment options for your teen in your local area.

If you need help with substance abuse, or even a recent relapse into drug use, please call us. We are available 24/7:

(888) 241-2191