Drug And Alcohol Addiction In El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas, is a 248 square-mile city located on the Rio Grande river across from Ciudad Juarez, the most populated city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The city itself is home to 683,577 residents, and there are over 2.7 million people in the El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces metro area. Spanish for “The Pass,” El Paso is considered both a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and transshipment hub for illicit substances – primarily Methamphetamine and Heroin. Accordingly, there was a 103% increase in Meth seizures at the Texas-Mexico border between 2014 and 2016. However, as gruesome as the Mexican drug cartel violence remains across the border, El Paso has consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in America.
While there are limited treatment facilities in the immediate area, there are many in surrounding regions that specialize in various forms of addiction and abuse rehab and recovery services.
Primary Substances Used In El Paso
“Virtually all controlled substances are readily available” in the area. Opioid abuse and death in El Paso have yet to match national levels; 54 overdose deaths were opioid-related in 2016. Heroin abuse rates have risen during what is commonly known as the “Third Wave” of the Opioid Epidemic, yet Methamphetamine abuse is much more common in the rural, mountainous area. Today, clandestine meth made in labs has been replaced by imported, purer forms of drug, including the smokable Mexican “Ice” or “Glass.” Additionally, alcohol and Marijuana are common substances of abuse.
El Paso Addiction Statistics
44,000 pounds of Marijuana were seized by El Paso Border Patrol in 2014.
In 2014, 366 poison control cases in Texas involved Meth, with an average victim age of 29.
Methamphetamine treatment rates increased by 500% between 1995 and 2014.
Addiction Treatment Options In The Area
Among El Paso adults, alcoholism remains a primary reason for seeking addiction treatment, though Opioid dependence continues to grow. Marijuana and alcohol are common addiction treatments among youth.
There are a few drug and alcohol rehab options in the El Paso area – with government-funded, private, and faith-based facilities available. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are among the support groups that regularly meet in the area to help residents maintain their sobriety.
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Traveling For Rehab
While considering the cost of rehab, it’s important to consider an individual’s surroundings and comfortability when selecting addiction treatment. To remove themselves from local triggers, some may choose to travel outside of El Paso for drug rehab. Detox and inpatient rehab at an out-of-area facility can help an individual focus on their recovery without worrying about hometown stressors. Also, there may be more options for therapy types and amenities.
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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- El Paso County. (2017). Special Operations Division. Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at http://www.epcounty.com/sheriff/specialops.htm
- El Paso Times. (2018). Drug cartel violence rise is worrisome, new El Paso DEA boss Kyle W. Williamson says. Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/crime/2018/05/14/dea-boss-el-paso-kyle-williamson-cartel-violence-rising-juarez/598430002/
- Texas Health and Human Services. (2010). Patterns and Trends of Drug Abuse in El Paso, Texas. Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at http://www.dshs.texas.gov/sa/research/currenttrends/1998/elpaso98.html
- The City of El Paso Texas. (2017). City of El Paso Named Second Safest City in America. Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at https://www.elpasotexas.gov/~/media/files/coep/temporary/el%20paso%20one%20of%20safest%20metro%20cities%20in%20america.ashx
- The Guardian. (2015). Texas town tired of ‘war on drugs’ at the border sees push for legal marijuana. Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/08/marijuana-legalization-el-paso-texas-mexico-border
- The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. (2015). Substance Abuse Trends in Texas: June 2015. Retrieved on August 1, 2018 at https://socialwork.utexas.edu/dl/files/cswr/institutes/ari/pdf/trends/trends615.pdf
- The University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work. (2017). Substance Abuse Trends in Texas 2017. Retrieved on August 20, 2018 at https://socialwork.utexas.edu/dl/ari/texas-drug-trends-2017.pdf