Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Amarillo, Texas
Located in the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo is a city of approximately 200,000 people across two counties – Potter and Randall. The region is known for its vast stretches of land with largely untouched, prairie grasslands. The northern Texas city is closer to the Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado state capitals than it is to Austin. Subsequently, the highway system surrounding Amarillo is popular among drug cartels and Narcotics traffickers. While the Opioid Epidemic has spread across other parts of the country, Meth addiction and abuse have persisted as the greatest concern in this Texas city.
A relatively rural area, there are limited treatment options in the immediate Amarillo area, but traveling a short distance to neighboring regions might provide the support and assistance needed for those suffering from abuse and addiction.
Amarillo’s Struggle With Meth And Opioids
After the 2006 ban on Pseudoephedrine (i.e. cold medicine), Mexican drug cartels began to import purer forms of Meth with potencies as high as 95%, known as “Ice” or “Glass.” 715 deaths in Texas in 2017 were Meth-related, compared to 539 Heroin-related deaths. In Texas forensics laboratories, Meth represented 24% of all items seized and was the second-most frequently identified substance (behind Marijuana/cannabis). Amarillo law enforcement estimates that as many as 80% of local burglaries are related to Meth use.
Mexican “Black Tar” Heroin, packed in baggies or balloons, became the first “brand name” of Heroin reported in the area. In 2016, Amarillo was listed (along with 4 other Texas cities) among the top 25 cities with high levels of Opioid abuse, proving that while Meth might be “bigger” and more visible, the numbers of those abusing Opioids is also concerning.
Alcoholism In Amarillo
Though the sale of alcohol is legal – yet more strictly regulated – in Amarillo, alcohol abuse is a fatally serious issue. Rates of heavy drinking and binge drinking (i.e. 5 or more drinks in 2 hours for a man and 4 for a woman) are higher in Amarillo than even the state’s most-populous city, Houston. Consequently, the West Texas city has a higher rate of motor vehicle crashes involving drunk driving.
In the first month of 2018, Amarillo police made 77 DUI arrests; there were 2 alcohol-related fatal crashes. In 2017, there were approximately 50 DUI arrests per month and 14 fatal car crashes total. If rates of alcohol misuse and alcohol-related crime continue to climb, the region will further suffer from the negative effects of alcohol abuse (such as shorter lifespan).
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Amarillo Addiction Statistics
In 2015, there were 262 car wrecks involving a drunk driver in the city.
In 2016, Amarillo police made 498 DUI arrests, or one every 32 hours.
The average age of Texans entering treatment for Heroin addiction is 33-years-old.
Addiction Treatment In Amarillo
Though somewhat isolated from other metropolitan cities, Amarillo still has a few options for addiction treatment services. Residents have access to Outreach, Screening, Assessment, and Referral Centers (Region 1 for Amarillo) when looking for recovery options.
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) provides funding for prevention, intervention and treatment services through contracts with about 200 community organizations that serve more than 750,000 Texans each year.
Research has shown that the cost of addiction is often much higher than the cost of rehab (or incarceration). In cooperation with the Texas Partnership for Family Recovery (a multi-department and organization group dedicated to reuniting families), Health and Human Services strives to make addiction treatment more widely available, regardless of ability to pay. Sliding fee scales are also available to those who qualify.
Seek Recovery In Amarillo
Depending on the length and severity of an individual’s addiction, there are a variety of options for treatment when it comes to drug and alcohol rehab. Most recovery therapies begin with taking the first step and going through a detox program. If you or a loved one need more information on where to start, contact a treatment provider today to discuss your options.
Destiny Bezrutczyk is a Digital Content Writer from west Iowa. She earned a Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature from Texas Tech University. After working as a freelance script and blog writer, she began writing content for tech startups. Maintaining a passion for words, she took on a variety of projects where her writing could help people (especially those battling mental health and substance use disorders).
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- ABC 7 Amarillo. (2018). Amarillo PD sees increase in DUI arrests at start of 2018. Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at https://abc7amarillo.com/news/local/amarillo-pd-sees-increase-in-dui-arrests-at-start-of-2018
- Amarillo.com. (2017). Amarillo Police Chief: Meth problem ‘out of control.’ Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at http://www.amarillo.com/news/local-news/2017-03-11/amarillo-police-chief-meth-problem-out-control
- Trends in Texas: June 2014. Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at https://archives.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/texas2014a.pdf
- Texas Department of Transportation. (2018). DUI (Alcohol) Crashes and Injuries by County: 2016. Retrieved on August 21, 2018 at http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2016/40.pdf
- Texas Health and Human Services. (2016). Substance Abuse Projects and Initiatives. Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/sa/current-initiatives/
- The University of Texas at Austin Addiction Research Institute. (2018). Drug Trends Reports and Trainings. Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at https://socialwork.utexas.edu/site/ari/research/drug-trends/
- News Channel 10. (2018). Amarillo Ranks in Top 25 Cities with Opioid Abuse. Retrieved on January 10, 2022 from: https://www.newschannel10.com/story/37662887/amarillo-ranks-in-top-25-cities-with-opioid-abuse/