Addiction in Texarkana, Arkansas
Texarkana is one of the southern-most cities of Arkansas and is named after the three bordering states of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Like cities across the state, many people in Texarkana are struggling with addiction to opioids and illicit drugs.
The Opioid Epidemic in Texarkana
Arkansas is one of the most prominent states struggling with the opioid epidemic, as it has the 25th highest death rate due to prescription drugs in the country. Opioids are a classification of drugs that are derived from, or a synthetic version of, opium. Opioids are considered to be both extremely addictive and easily accessible, as many prescribed pain management medications are opioids.
Despite the recent state-wide crackdown on pill mills and implication of laws reducing the rate at which opioids are prescribed, Texarkana and other Arkansan communities have seen an influx in the availability of prescription pills. In fact, the county prescribing rate for Miller County (which includes Texarkana) in 2016 was 109 opioid prescriptions per 100 residents, which is still significantly higher than the national average of 66 opioid prescriptions per 100 people. Multiple precautions have been taken by both state and federal officials concerning opioid abuse in Arkansas, however; communities are still experiencing a high rate of prescription pain medication abuse.
As drug use increases, so do emergency room visits, overdoses, and the need for overdose drugs such as Narcan. The opioid crisis is putting a severe strain on both the law enforcement and medical resources in not only Texarkana, but all of Arkansas; pharmaceutical drug use has been identified to be the second primary consumer of law enforcement resources and main primary consumer of medical resources throughout Arkansas.
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Methamphetamine Use in Texarkana Is On the Rise
While Arkansas has lower rates than the national average for alcohol abuse compared to the rest of the country, it has significantly higher rates of methamphetamine use. In fact, according to the 2019 Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (GC HIDTA) threat survey, methamphetamine presents the most significant threat for Arkansas in 2019. Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as “crystal” or “meth,” is a highly addictive illicit drug that is often easier and cheaper for people with a lower income to obtain than other drugs such as prescription opiates or heroin. Trends indicate Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations continue to transport large quantities of methamphetamine and crystal meth into Arkansas for both consumption and further distribution to other states. Texarkana is one of the largest crystal methamphetamine trafficking areas in Arkansas, as its rural setting is ideal for manufacturing and distributing the drug.
The abuse of methamphetamine constitutes a public health problem for the Arkansan population due to its catastrophic psychological and physical effects. Negative psychological effects that users may experience include feelings of anxiety or paranoia, agitation, severe cravings, and depression. Some users also become extremely violent and psychotic when taking large amounts of methamphetamine. Additionally, the drug takes an enormous physical toll on the long-term user, causing adverse cardiac, neurological, and dental effects. Methamphetamine is currently the primary consumer of law enforcement resources in Arkansas.
Arkansas has the highest incidents of teen prescription drug abuse in America with an estimated one in five high school seniors who say they have or are currently abusing prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are particularly easy for youth to abuse because they are easily accessible. Drugs such as Xanax and hydrocodone are often found within the home, in parents’ and siblings’ medicine cabinets. According to the 2017 Arkansas State Epidemiological Profile of substance Abuse, Miller County has the 5th highest rate of youth illicit drug use out of all the counties in Arkansas. Miller County additionally ranked higher for youth cigarette and youth alcohol use compared to the rest of Arkansas.
Opioid abuse is often a gateway for other more dangerous drugs, as many turn to related, non-pharmaceutical grade street drugs in search of stronger highs and/or out of financial necessity. There has been a state-wide increase in teen heroin and inhalant use, and Texarkana has seen a 6% increase in both sixth and twelfth grade illicit drug abuse.
Getting Treatment in Texarkana
Addiction does not have to control your life; there are multiple resources and facilities available to help those struggling with addiction. If you or a loved one is in dire need of healing from substance abuse in the Texarkana area, a treatment provider can help you find the best facility with your needs in mind. Don’t wait any longer, talk to a dedicated treatment provider today.
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