Corpus Christi, Texas is home to 326,554 residents,1 and drugs have taken their toll on many of these residents. When substance abuse hits close to home, it can turn lives upside down. Relationships and marriages may be torn apart. Jobs may be lost. Children may lose their parents, and parents may lose their children.
The number of negative outcomes that stem from it is disheartening at best. Many who abuse drugs will start out using occasionally and have a pretty firm grasp on what doses they can handle and still keep things under control. Often, the initial phases of drug abuse are so well-hidden that friends and family members are completely unaware it’s going on.
With any extended period of drug abuse, thought, the individual may find it increasingly difficult to control their drug use. Addiction occurs when the person is unable to quit or cut back even when the drug is causing problems in their life.
Individuals who engage in regular drug or alcohol abuse are traveling down a dangerous path. The good news is they can get off that path at any time with the right help. Treatment is available to Corpus Christi residents that can help them achieve long-term recovery.
Prevalence of Drug Abuse, Corpus Christi
Drug abuse is prevalent in the Corpus Christi metro area. Illicit drugs like heroin get a lot of attention but they aren’t the only problem in Corpus Christi or the rest of Texas. In fact, prescription opioids follow heroin fairly closely in terms of abuse rates in Texas, and marijuana takes the lead as the most abused drug.2 Still, the drug overdose-related death rate in all of Texas is lower than the national average. Texas’s rate lies fairly low at 10.4 per 100,000 deaths, one of the lowest overdose rates in the United States.3
Even with the low overdose death rate, the consequences of drug abuse and addiction touch many Texans, and the economic impact to the state is no small consideration. Drug abuse often results in jail time, and the cost of keeping just one person incarcerated is more than $18,000 per year.4 That really adds up in Texas, considering the state has the largest inmate population in the country.5 In 2015, 134,386 arrests were made in accordance with drug-related charges in the state.6
The biggest burden that Texas bears with regards to drugs is the international drug trade. In 2013, 1,279 people were arrested in drug trafficking incidents in the southern region of Texas where Corpus Christi is located.7 In Corpus Christi, an undercover drug sting turned up 27.02 grams of Xanax, 4.46 grams of marijuana, and 314.55 grams of Spice in September 2015.8 Cases like this make the local news on a regular basis. If an individual is caught with large quantities of marijuana, sentences as long as 99 years can be rendered.9 Harder substances and repeat offenses bear even harsher sentences.
Alcohol Abuse in Corpus Christi
While drug abuse may plague the Corpus area due to its close ties to Mexico, alcohol abuse often doesn’t get the attention to deserves in the region. Out of every 10 Americans, three will have a problem with alcohol at some point in their lives,10 2018 data showed that more than 14 million Americans suffered from an alcohol use disorder that year.11 In 2019, 18.7% of Texans surveyed reported they either binge drank in the 30 days prior to the survey or had engaged in chronic drinking.12
Individuals who drink too much may gain unhealthy amounts of weight, have problems absorbing essential nutrients in their diet, and develop health conditions like diabetes. Cardiac arrest and stroke are both more common in this population as well.
Approximately 10-15 percent of individuals who are dependent on alcohol eventually develop cirrhosis of the liver.14 Among them, 90% will still be alive in 5 years if they quit drinking, while just 70% will make it that long if they don’t quit.15 Sadly, only around 20% of individuals suffering from alcohol use disorders seek any form of treatment for their disorders.16
Keep in mind that just because alcohol is legal to use and even abuse doesn’t mean it’s safe. One of the biggest consequences of alcohol abuse in the Lone Star State is drunk driving, which over 4 million Americans admit to having done on occasion.17 In Texas, the sentences for DUI convictions vary from a few days in jail to as long as two years in jail.18 There were 70,569 DUI-related arrests in the state in 2014 and Corpus Christi was home to its fair share of them.19 In 2018, there were 374 alcohol-related motor vehicle collisions in Corpus Christi alone.13
Mental Health, Corpus Christi
Sometimes substance abuse is nothing more than an outward symptom of another problem lurking in the wings: mental illness. One in 5 adults in the U.S. suffers from mental illness, according to 2018 data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and more than 500,000 Texans live with serious or persistent mental illness.20,21 According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 25% of those with serious mental illness struggle with substance use disorders.22 Serious mental illness means any disorder that causes major impairment to a person’s life, such as:23
Whether knowledge of a disorder’s presence existed before substance abuse began or not is irrelevant. Moving forward, treatment must be rendered to both issues in order for both to have a decent shot at recovery.
Untreated mental illness affects many in Texas. Resources are limited, especially for those without health insurance coverage. This often contributes to a wide treatment gap that leaves many who need treatment without it and dire consequences stemming from such a lapse in care. In 2018, nearly 4,000 people died by suicide in Texas. 24 This was the highest number of any state that year.24 The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that both serious/chronic mental illness and substance abuse are risk factors for suicide.
Substance Abuse Treatment, Corpus Christi
Fortunately, the right form of treatment can turn much of this picture around for a great many people. For those individuals who have sought treatment before and relapsed — as 40-60 percent of people in recovery will do at some point26 — residential care may be the best option, and Corpus Christi residents can find it locally and throughout the state.
Treatment centers in Corpus Christi and throughout Texas accept many forms of payment, such as:
- Sliding scale payment plans.
- Payment assistance programs.
- Private insurance.
Those who don’t qualify for federal or state-assisted insurance programs, and lack other means of access to health coverage, may apply for plans through the healthcare exchange. Coverage is now required to be offered regardless of preexisting conditions, like mental illness or substance use disorders, and must cover treatment of both issues, too.
The Texas Department of State Health Services , the Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, Coastal Bend and Corpus Christi, and South Texas Substance Abuse Recovery Services are great starting places for individuals to find resources on substance abuse treatment in the Corpus Christi area.
Every person in Corpus Christi who has an addiction also has the opportunity to make things a whole lot better, and that process starts with treatment. Every person who enrolls in care becomes a person who does not buy, make, or sell drugs. That makes the community as a whole a lot safer.
It is really easy to get care in Corpus Christi, as there are so many providers available. These are some of them:
- Greenhouse Treatment Center: With programs ranging from medical detox and inpatient rehab to outpatient therapy and everything in between, you’ll find what you need at Greenhouse. This Dallas-based treatment center was built in a former Neiman Marcus spa so you’ll find extreme comfort combined with the highest quality care for addiction and c0-occurring mental health disorders. Greenhouse also offers several specialty programs to address the needs of specific populations, from its licensed professionals track to its Christian-based program. You can call 972-848-0221 at any time for more information.
- The Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse — Coastal Bend: This private, nonprofit organization provides care for people struggling with addictions to alcohol and/or drugs. Adults can participate in an intensive outpatient program and get structured addiction care without leaving the privacy of their homes. This program provides individual and group counseling, along with recovery support services. After the program is complete, alumni can tap into aftercare support, which may or may not include medication management. Teens ages 13-17 can enroll in their own intensive outpatient program, and here, they can get individual and group counseling. There are aftercare services for teens available too, including case management. The organization gets funding from national groups, including the March of Dimes and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. No information about fees or insurance coverage is provided online. To find out more about how to utilize these services, call (361) 854-9199.
- Charlie’s Place Recovery Center: This luxurious inpatient treatment program for addiction is located on several acres on the site of a former hotel. It is a quiet and peaceful place in which to contemplate recovery, and amenities include a recreation center, a courtyard, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Clients who enroll can take advantage of medical detox, intensive residential programs, or supportive residential programs. Outpatient care is also available for people well enough to handle a reduced amount of supervision. Counseling is provided on both an individual and a group basis, and topics covered include addiction education, recovery, support system development, and sober life skills. Family counseling services are also available for those who want to learn how the recovery process works and how they can support the healing. Prices are reasonable, and the organization accepts insurance payments, including payments from Medicaid. Contact (877) 267-8110 to find out more.
- South Texas Substance Abuse Recovery Services: This organization, also known as STSARS, is a nonprofit substance abuse treatment facility located in the heart of Corpus Christi. The original client base included people with addictions to opiates like heroin, but now, the organization has developed a wide range of programs, capable of helping almost anyone living with an addiction. Clients can choose from gender-specific programs, drug-specific programs, culture-specific programs, co-occurring condition programs, and programs made for people in the criminal justice system. All care is provided on an outpatient basis, and people who cannot afford to pay for care can enroll in scholarship programs and get the assistance they need for no extra cost. To find out more, call (361) 882-9979.
- Palmer Drug Abuse Program: This program is designed to help children ages 5-17 recover from a drug addiction issue, or learn to handle an addiction that impacts a person these young people love. That helps come in the form of meetings that follow a 12-Step format. Young people agree to listen and learn in these meetings, and they provide insight and support where they can. All people who participate have the ability to learn and to teach. For some young people, it is the perfect combination that leads to addiction recovery. Young people who need a little more help can tap into one-on-one peer counseling sessions too. Find out more by calling (361) 887-8900.
- Right Path Drug Rehab: This organization specializes in providing individualized treatment programs for addiction. That means they do not provide a one-size-fits-all approach to the problem of addiction. Instead, they treat each patient as an individual with individual needs, and they design each program accordingly. People who contact Right Path are taken through an evaluation process, and at the end of that call, providers develop a set of treatment options that can work to help the person in need. Right Path programs can last one, two, or three months, and aftercare is provided to everyone who enrolls. Insurance payments are accepted. Call (888) 539-6947 to find out more.
- United States Census Bureau. (n.d.). Quick Facts: Corpus Christie, TX.
- White House. (n.d.). Texas Drug Control Update.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Drug Overdose Mortality by State.
- Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. (n.d.). Solutions for Safely Reducing Incarceration.
- Evans, T. & Tinsely, A.M. (n.d.). Texas has nation’s largest prison population. McClatchy DC.Accessed September 23, 2015.
- Texas Department of Public Safety. (2015). Texas Arrest Data.
- United States Sentencing Commission. (n.d.). Quick Facts: Drug Trafficking Offenses.
- Escamilla, N. (2015). Man arrested in undercover drug sting. KRISTV.
- NORML. (n.d.). Texas Laws & Penalties.
- Reinberg, S. (2015). “3 in 10 Americans have drinking problem at some point in their lives.” KRISTV.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2020). Alcohol Facts and Statistics.
- United Health Foundation. (2020) Excessive Drinking in Texas.
- Texas Department of Transportation. (2018). DUI (Alcohol) Crashes and Injuries Cities and Towns.
- Mann, R.E., Smart, R.G. & Govoni, R. (n.d.). The Epidemiology of Alcoholic Liver Disease. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
- Main, D. (2015 Jun 3). 30 Percent of Americans Have Had an Alcohol-Use Disorder. Newsweek.
- Fox, M. (n.d.). More Than 4 Million Adults Admit They Drink and Drive. NBC News. Accessed September 23, 2015.
- NOLO. (n.d.). Texas DUI and DWI Laws.
- Texas Department of Public Safety. (n.d.). Texas Arrest Data.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2019). Mental Health By the Numbers.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Houston. (2017). Texas Falls Short On Mental Health Access, Spending.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Suicide Mortality by State.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2019). Risk of Suicide.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.