Regional, State, and Local Guides
Dallas, Texas, is home to 1.28 million people, making it one of the top 10 most populous cities in the United States.
The Dallas/Forth Worth metropolitan area is one of the main industrial and commercial centers in the country, and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is one of the biggest and most trafficked airports in the world. But as drugs and crime have made through the city, thanks to the deep-seated divisions caused by the state’s infamously strong political lines, addiction treatment programs have responded as well.
Drug Problems in Dallas
PBS’s Frontline explains that 50 percent of Dallas’s residents are black or Hispanic, with most of the city’s white population living north of the Trinity River. South Dallas, where “almost all” of the city’s black populace lives, was hit hard by the recession, leaving an unemployment rate almost double that of North Dallas.
City leaders neglected South Dallas, leaving it to become a nest of crime and drugs. Police make up to 10 raids a day, but tightly run crack houses clear of occupants and contents as soon as a signal is given. Despite the efforts of law enforcement, more than 40 percent of the drug raids turn up empty-handed.
According to the Dallas Morning News, gangs –bankrolled by cartel bosses from Mexico — sell drugs openly in the streets, turning low-incoming housing units into offices for their enterprise.
However, the Texas Department of State warns that even northern Dallas suburbs have experienced a “drastic increase” of drug overdoses, seizures, and trafficking. Between 2008 and 2010, there was a 366 percent increase in people voluntarily looking for addiction treatment services in the Dallas area.
Dallas’s drug problem has a human cost. From 1996-1997, the Department of State received reports of at least 15 deaths of adolescents and young adults as a result of heroin overdoses. A report commissioned by the Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse found that there were almost 50,000 people in the Dallas metropolitan area who are dependent on some form of illicit drug, and need intervention and rehabilitation services. For residential treatment, men average a wait of eight weeks, and women average a wait of four weeks. Because of this, around 45 percent of adults waiting for treatment drop out of their respective programs and return to using drugs. Access to centralized treatment in suburban areas is very limited.
Compounding the issue for Dallas is “the race factor in the War on Drugs,” in the words of the North Dallas Gazette. The Human Rights Watch reported that people of color get arrested for possession three times more than white people, even though more white people consume cocaine than Hispanics or African-Americans (according to a 2011 survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Furthermore, the Bureau of Justice Statistics says that there were 225,242 inmates in state prisons on drug-related offenses in 2011; of those 225,242, 45 percent were African-American, and only 30 percent were Caucasian.
The writer for the North Dallas Gazette points the finger at “stop and frisk” laws that target minorities and the ease of going after low-level targets (arresting drug dealers and boosting arrest numbers to secure federal funding), rather than targeting the bosses and manufacturers of the drugs (a claim supported by the findings of Human Rights Watch). Public attitudes towards black and white drug users also make a huge difference; white drug offenders, say the Gazette writer, receive compassion, prayer sessions, psychiatric counseling, rehab, and diversionary programs. Black offenders, on the other hand, see mass arrests, prosecutions, and harsh prison sentences.
Peaks in the Addiction Treatment Landscape
The relationship between crime, law enforcement, race, and drug use is an unfathomably complicated one, but it sheds light on the work that addiction treatment programs in Dallas have to do. There are more than 30 different drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities throughout the city. Programs operated by the state are normally covered by state healthcare, and offer low-cost (or even no-cost) treatment. Private programs are privately funded and require out-of-pocket payment. The cost for private treatment varies from facility to facility, but it is usually determined by length of stay and the scope of treatment required.
Some locations, like the nonprofit Nexus Recovery Center, are targeted towards disadvantaged women, pregnant women, single mothers, and young women. Nexus touts itself as the only facility in the Dallas area that can provide services for pregnant teenagers.
Similarly, nonprofit Phoenix House Feinberg works with both male and female adolescents (ages 13-17), who have drug addiction and co-occurring mental health struggles. Care at Phoenix House Feinberg covers individual therapy, group therapy, and family counseling. As incentive, residents of Phoenix House can enroll in a credit recovery program sponsored by the Dallas Independent School District.
For adults with co-occurring disorders, Turtle Creek Recovery Center, a nonprofit social service agency, serves the North Texas area with both residential and outpatient programs. Most of Turtle Creek’s clients are unemployed, and 80 percent are homeless when they are admitted.
The Magdalen House offers “non-medical” detoxification for women who are primarily addicted to alcohol. It is a nonprofit organization supported by public and private donations, offering free treatment or low-cost options to women who need either long-term (more than 30 days) or short-term (less than 30 days) services.
Public and private rehabilitative services are bolstered by the presence of drug courts, a system jumpstarted by former Texas governor Rick Perry to more effectively combat the presence and influence of drugs in major Texas cities.
The system has been a resounding success and met with universal acclaim. The Texas Observer reports that Southern Methodist University conducted a study of drug courts in Dallas and found that taxpayers save $9 for every single government dollar that is spent on the courts. Thanks to the efforts of now-retired District Judge John Creuzot, addicts receive personal assessments when they enter a drug court, creating a human connection between them and a system that is specifically designed to help them. Upon entering the program, patients receive a clinical assessment from court psychologists, who assess the range of the drug addiction and determine the type of mental health counseling that would best serve their rehabilitation. The result is a treatment plan that is specifically catered to the needs of the patient, and it can include up to six months of inpatient care at the Hill A. Feinberg Academy in Dallas, which is a satellite of the Judge John C. Creuzot Judicial Treatment Center – named after the judge who the Observer describes as a “[pioneer] in diversion programs and other innovative efforts” in “getting people to stop committing crimes.”
The Observer posits that Dallas’s method of referring patients to a wide array of treatment facilities makes it a “model program.”
The Dallas Morning News specifically mentions Dallas County’s Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment, or DIVERT, program as an example of what an “intense” rehab court provides: one-on-one counseling and education, teaching individuals how they can live with accountability, order, and sobriety once they complete the program.
The program is meant to treat people who are facing their first stint in state jail or a third-degree felony drug charge (being found with less than the required weight of cocaine, heroin, and/or methamphetamine to constitute a first-degree felony charge11). The program not only includes a judge and attorneys, but also case managers and counselors.
In 2012, a Dallas County study compared 93 clients who went through the drug court system, and another 93 who did not participate, although they were eligible to. DIVERT graduates had a recidivism rate of under 10 percent; those who failed the program had a recidivism rate of 27 percent, and the group that did not participate had a total recidivism rate of 29 percent. Dallas County’s study found that DIVERT reduced recidivism rates by 52 percent.
Turning Back the Tide
Dallas County’s Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment was a groundbreaking program, one of the first of its kind in the state of Texas. It paved the way for 135 drug courts in Texas, making the Lone Star State one of the leaders in criminal justice reform and progressive addiction treatment.
Dallas is a city that finds itself at a crossroads: shaking off the weight of a recession, dealing with its divisions and inequalities, and fighting back against a rise of gangs and the drugs they bring with them. The addiction treatment programs mentioned above are on the front lines of helping Dallas’s men and women, adolescents and homeless, overcome their battles with substance abuse and mental health disorders.
When it comes to drug and/or alcohol abuse, Dallas does not have a lock on dangers or consequences. These issues happen all across Texas, and all across the country, too. But Dallas does face a number of very serious addiction-related problems. For example, the Dallas Area Drug Prevention Partnership and the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse report that more than 1,000 people died due to alcohol and 310 people died due to drugs in Dallas County in 2010 alone.
Addiction deaths like this come about due to the significant damage that drugs and alcohol can do to the cells of the brain. Portions of the brain that control behavior and decision-making can die off during long stints of abuse, and portions of the brain that deliver feelings of pleasure can be impaired, too. That results in a person who feels low and sad much of the time, and who may not be able to make better choices when drugs are available.
This situation is serious, but in Dallas, there are a number of excellent treatment programs that can help. These are just a few of them.
- Nexus Recovery Center: Women with addiction issues are the focus of this Dallas nonprofit addiction treatment program. Adult women and adolescent girls ages 13-17 are welcome to enroll, even if they are pregnant. Women raising young children can bring those children with them into this residential treatment program. Those who cannot afford to pay for care can get financial assistance, so they can get the help they need without worrying about payments or bills. Women who enroll are offered group therapy, private counseling, and support group meetings. Length of stay can vary, but 30-90 day enrollment periods are typical. An assessment starts the healing process.
- Homeward Bound: This nonprofit organization provides substance abuse treatment for both men and women, regardless of their ability to pay for care. Since it was founded in 1980, Homeward Bound has provided treatment to more than 100,000 people. There are two treatment campus locations to choose from: One is in Dallas, and one is in El Paso. Medical detox, residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and recovery support services are all available. There is no need to make an appointment for treatment.
- Turtle Creek Recovery Center: Some people with drug issues also struggle with mental health concerns. They can get help for both problems at the same time at Turtle Creek Recovery Center. And issues about payment should not keep people out of care. Turtle Creek accepts anyone for care, and about 80 percent of the client base is homeless. Anyone who is 18-65 with a mental illness and an addiction, who is medically stable and without a history of violence, is welcome to enroll. Screenings are on a first-come, first-served basis. People who are accepted move into the residential program for care. Every resident has a dedicated counselor, and together, the counselor and the resident work on a long-term program to ensure sobriety. Transition to home life is provided at the end of the program.
- Gaston House: When an addiction strikes, peers can provide valuable support. That is especially true if people who have an addiction can live with people who have recovered from the same issue. People new to sobriety can learn how others have overcome their sobriety challenges. A sober living home provides those healing opportunities. Gaston House is such a sober home, made just for men. Most people who come to Gaston House have completed primary addiction treatment. At Gaston House, these men learn how to build a protective sober lifestyle. All men are required to work at least 25 hours per week, and all are required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Men are also asked to learn how to “have fun” in sobriety, through learning, volunteering, or both.
- Phoenix House: Some addiction treatment programs provide help to a narrowly defined type of person with an addiction. Phoenix House is different. This organization can provide help to almost anyone struggling with an addiction issue, including men, women, Latinos, members of the military, first responders, and more. Since the organization helps such a diverse set of people, the programs offered are similarly diverse. People can enroll in inpatient care, outpatient care, brief addiction treatment, sober living, medical detox, and more. Medicare, Medicaid, and state health plans are accepted, as are most major insurance plans. Phoenix House will also accept private payments.
- The Ranch at Dove Tree: This facility is located just west of Dallas, where the city gives way to the beauty and scenery of the country. The developers of this treatment facility consider nature to be key to the addiction healing process. By situating their facility in such a picturesque spot, they hope to make healing a little more likely. Programs for men, women, and adolescents are all available, and treatment programs are personalized. Care begins with an in-depth screening process, and once the program has been developed, people can always tweak or adjust the care depending on their ability to heal. Some people take advantage of all the levels of care provided. They enroll in medical detox, move into residential care, head into partial care, and then move out. Others do not need this stair-step approach. Customizing based on needs is always welcome at The Ranch. Most major insurance plans, along with private pay, are accepted.
- Greenhouse: Addictions can be incredibly uncomfortable. The program developers at Greenhouse think recovery does not have to involve discomfort. In fact, the founders of Greenhouse think that addiction recovery is more likely when people have an opportunity to tap into luxury and comfort. That way, they choose to stay enrolled in care. They do so because they enjoy their time. Greenhouse is a gorgeous addiction treatment facility that offers landscaped grounds, a pool, spa services, gourmet food, and other luxury touches to people enrolled in inpatient addiction care. That comfort is matched by the Greenhouse commitment to research-based care. All of the therapies provided at Greenhouse have a solid foundation in science, and those therapies are provided by licensed professionals. People can access medical detox, therapy for co-occurring conditions, individual therapy, group therapy, support group meetings, and more. If people complete a 90-day treatment program and relapse, they can return for a free 30 days of treatment. Find out more by calling 972-848-0268.
- Burning Tree Ranch: A standard addiction treatment program lasts for 90 days, and when it is complete, people typically take advantage of outpatient care in order to extend their sobriety chances. The founders of Burning Tree Ranch know that some people need a little more help. Their program is made just for people who struggle with chronic relapse issues. These people need longer treatment stays, so they can learn a great deal about addiction and make those lessons stick for the rest of life. At Burning Tree, people can stay in treatment for as long as they would like to stay. While they are enrolled, they can partake of residential-based, comprehensive addiction care. People can stay at this facility for a long time, until they feel fully capable of returning to the community without the urge to relapse. The admissions staff can discuss payment options.
- Enterhealth Ranch: Many addiction treatment facilities use a 12-Step approach to help people learn how to overcome the urge to use drugs. At Enterhealth Ranch, the emphasis is on science and knowledge. Rather than hoping to boost sobriety through a spiritual connection, the founders hope to use the best science can offer to help people overcome the urge to use. Each person who enrolls is offered a medical and psychological assessment, and treatment programs are built around those results. The setting is luxurious, as people are provided with a salon, a pool, gourmet meals, and a maid service. But the program is rigorous and scientific. People spend the majority of time in therapy programs or medical treatments. Many insurance companies cover the cost of treatment at Enterhealth Ranch, and private pay is also accepted.
- Dallas Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers: The founders of Dallas Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers have built their facility around a metaphor. They call it a “path to recovery,” and it winds throughout the glorious campus. People who have enrolled in this program may enjoy walking this path when they need to feel calming energy, but this path could also help people to understand how recovery works. The struggle can be long, and the path isn’t always straight. Dallas Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers can help. People who struggle with alcohol and/or almost any kind of drug can enroll in this program for inpatient medical detox and rehab. While they are enrolled, they can access other therapies such as acupuncture, pain management, and yoga. Equine therapy is also available on the campus. A wide variety of insurance payment plans are accepted, as is private pay. The organization also provides payment plans, to make care affordable for people in need.
- The Right Step: Life does not stop when an addiction starts. Many people who have addictions also have jobs, family obligations, and community tasks. They may need to keep attending to these things as they heal from addiction. An outpatient program at The Right Step allows people to get in-depth addiction care while they continue to stay engaged with home life and the community. Groups meet for about three hours, three days per week. The program typically lasts for eight weeks. During that time, people learn more about addiction, they access counseling sessions, and they attend 12-Step meetings. Men and women are welcome, and insurance payments are accepted.
- Solutions Outpatient Services: This is a family-owned-and-operated addiction treatment center in Dallas. Anyone older than 18 who is struggling with an addiction is welcome to attend. The founders of this program looked to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous when developing their services, and they found inspiration in the idea that people should be offered the least restrictive form of care that provides real addiction healing. To them, that meant outpatient care was best, as this form of care lets people live at home while they heal from addiction. People who take advantage of this program meet for several hours each week in order to learn more about how addictions work and how life should change in order to keep an addiction problem at bay. The organization works with insurance companies on payment issues, and private payments are also accepted.
- Origins Recovery Centers: This organization has treatment centers all across the country. In Texas, the facility offers addiction care for adult men. Treatment starts with 90 days of highly structured inpatient care based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. When men feel comfortable with their sobriety skills after this intensive care stage, they move into clinically supervised sober living homes, where they can learn from others in recovery in a less clinical environment. All told, men might spend up to 18 months in various stages of recovery before they move home once again. In addition to addiction issues, men are encouraged to explore what it means to be a man in today’s culture. They examine parenting, sexual conduct, career issues, past trauma, feelings of inadequacy, and more while in treatment. Origins has admissions specialists that can work with insurance companies on intake issues, and private payment plans are also available.
- Burning Tree: The Texas landscape and the opportunities available in Dallas play a big role in the treatment programs offered at Burning Tree. When people enroll in this program, they move onto a campus that is absolutely gorgeous and that offers commanding views of the countryside. That is a perfect backdrop for meditation and quiet reflection, both of which are encouraged at Burning Tree. During the early stages of recovery, when men and women are not engaged in counseling sessions or treatment sessions, they can simply let the healing environment surround them. That healing will be supported by doctors, nurses, therapists, and other clinicians, all of whom hope to boost a sense of clinical superiority. When sobriety skills are stronger, people can begin to move into the community. They are attached to job opportunities in Dallas, and they start to attend support group meetings in Dallas, too. In time, people may simply move into Dallas, but they can stay at Burning Tree as long as they’d like. There is no set time when people must leave.
- Right Path Drug Rehab: This nationwide organization provides drug addiction treatment in facilities all across the United States. There are seven facilities within Texas, and one is in the heart of Dallas. While each facility might be a little different, all of them have one thing in common: All are considered luxury addiction rehab facilities. That means treatment at Right Path will not involve hospital settings or clinical sights and sounds. Instead, the Right Path patient experience will be defined by gorgeous settings and extreme comfort. The care provided is inpatient, meaning that people will need to move into the facility to get help. While in the facility, people should expect to participate in counseling sessions and addiction education classes, so they can gain the skills they need to stay clean for good. Plans are personalized, and they can last 30-90 days, based on assessments and eligibility. Intake coordinators can discuss insurance and payment issues.
- West Texas Counseling and Rehabilitation Program of Dallas: Adults 18 and older who want to get help with an addiction can do so here. The healing begins with an assessment, in which counselors discuss how an addiction works, and they determine the severity of the addiction. Then, counselors develop a specialized treatment plan. The program offers intensive outpatient care for addiction, but they can refer clients to additional resources in the community. They work toward a medication-free sobriety for each client, and they have several offices throughout Texas that can help.
- Colonial Management Group: This organization maintains outpatient clinics that treat opioid addictions. People who have addictions to painkillers can use this organization for medical detox, and they can obtain a maintenance dose of medications that allows them to be productive members of society, while keeping cravings under control. The organization does more than hand out pills. It also provides addiction education and counseling support, but it is not designed to help people who have addictions to other substances, including alcohol or cocaine. The organization provides no public statements about insurance coverage or funding. People should call 877-284-7074 to find out those details.
- Green Oaks: People who struggle with mental health issues, including addictions, often struggle to pay for the care they need. And often, they need help on an urgent basis. They cannot wait for treatment beds to open. They need help right now. Green Oaks was designed to help. This psychiatric hospital offers care for all people who live in the community, regardless of their ability to pay. Many of the services offered have to do with addiction. People can enroll in inpatient care, outpatient care, or emergency care. They can get medical treatment, psychiatric care, or both. And they can get the treatments they need from qualified professionals, all working in a safe and secure environment. Insurance programs are accepted, as are sliding payment scales.
- Solace Counseling: People who have an addiction can seriously damage their family ties, but some people manage to maintain excellent family connections even while living with an addiction. These people still need addiction care, but they can get it while they live at home. An intensive outpatient program at Solace Counseling can help. Here, people use therapy to overcome the urge to relapse to drugs, but they live at home with the family while they learn. When this phase of care is complete, people can move into a supportive outpatient program, so they can focus on relapse prevention skills. Insurance payments are accepted, and people are expected to provide data about their coverage before they enroll.
- Dallas Drug and Alcohol: This organization hopes to provide a holistic approach to drug and alcohol addiction recovery. Detox services are provided, as are inpatient and outpatient recovery services, but there is an emphasis on therapies that some might consider alternative or complementary. The organization uses relaxation techniques and reorientation techniques, for example, and life skills are also emphasized as a recovery path. Most insurance programs are accepted, as are private pay options. Counselors are available around the clock to answer questions and schedule intake appointments.
- Local hospitals: Most hospitals in the Dallas metro area offer crisis medications for people who have overdosed on drugs and alcohol. Some hospitals provide follow-up care, which can allow people to get sober without leaving the hospital, but others contract with local treatment providers, so people get care, but they get it elsewhere. Anyone in the midst of a crisis due to drugs or alcohol should visit a local hospital and ask for help. If the person is not responsive, call for an ambulance. This is not an ideal way to fight an addiction, but for people in crisis in Dallas, it might be as good a place as any to start the process rolling.
- “The Dallas Drug War.” (April 1989). PBS Frontline. Accessed September 12, 2015.
- “The Mexico Drug War: Bodies for Billions.” (January 2012). CNN. Accessed September 12, 2015.
- “Police: Gangs Ran South Dallas Apartments as Drug Enterprise.” (September 2013). Dallas Morning News. Accessed September 12, 2015.
- “Obama Spotlights the Race Factor in the War on Drugs.” (January 2014). North Dallas Gazette. Accessed September 12, 2015.
- “Race, Drugs and Law Enforcement in the United States.” (June 2009). Human Rights Watch. Accessed September 12, 2015.
- “When It Comes To Illegal Drug Use, White America Does the Crime, Black America Gets the Time.” (September 2013). The Huffington Post. Accessed September 12, 2015
- “Prisoners in 2012 – Advance Counts.” (July 2013). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Accessed September 12, 2015.
- “Judge John Creuzot Leaving the Bench. Let’s Hope Someone Else Keeps His Work Going.” (November 2012). The Dallas Observer. Accessed September 12, 2015.
- “The Power of Drug Courts.” (November 2007). Texas Observer. Accessed September 12, 2015.
- “Dallas County’s DIVERT Program Provides Intense Supervision In Substance Abuse Cases.” (August 2013). Dallas Morning News. Accessed September 12, 2015.
- “What Is The Penalty For A 1st, 2nd or 3rd-Degree Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance?” (n.d.) Law Office of Carolyn Agin Schmidt. Accessed September 12, 2015.