Fort Worth, Texas, is known as Cowtown to tourists and locals alike, a name it earned as the core of cattle driving in the state. In recent years, a surge in poverty rates across the city has occurred, which often correlate with increases in substance abuse.
Around 34.1 percent of the city’s population is comprised of Hispanic or Latino individuals.1 The rate at which this demographic abuses illicit drugs is high, especially among youths — Fort Worth’s most at-risk demographic. Between 2008 and 2011, past-year rates of illicit drug use among Hispanic and Latino teens rose by 20 percent, with marijuana use alone rising by 25 percent and ecstasy use by 36 percent.2
Fort Worth Area Drug Abuse
Fort Worth had a population of 812,238 people in 2014, and drug abuse affects a large portion of this population.3 Texas was home to some 55,155 people who sought treatment for a drug abuse problem at a state-funded facility in 2006.4 Thus, a large portion of the population that sought treatment that year — 1,800,717 total in the US5 — did so in the Lone Star State.
The primary substance(s) of abuse cited by individuals seeking treatment in Texas that year varied. They included:6
Other drugs: 360
Other opiate/synthetic opiates: 3,370
Alcohol is a major substance of abuse in Fort Worth. This isn’t surprising given Texas’s per capita consumption of alcohol in 2012 was 2.28 gallons.7 That being said, the national rate was actually higher at 2.33 gallons per capita nationwide.8 Of the 162,469 average annual deaths in the state from 2006 to 2010, 6,514 of them were attributable to alcohol.9
The risks of alcohol abuse include far more than health consequences like stroke and alcohol poisoning. Generally, someone who has been caught driving drunk has already done it 80 times before being arrested.10 The penalties that come in tow with driving under the influence are strong.
Assuming an individual is lucky enough not to be harmed or injure someone else in an accident (there were 23 incapacitating crashes in Fort Worth in 201411), the first drunk driving offense brings with it a mandatory jail sentence of at least three days, but could impose as long a sentence as six months in jail.12 Second offenses may put those who drink and drive behind bars for a year, and third offenses for two year.13 In addition, those who drink and drive can expect hefty fines, up to $10,000, depending on individual circumstances, and a period of time where their licenses are suspended.14 In 2011, there were 87,644 arrests in the state of Texas for driving under the influence and another 118,451 for drunkenness.15
Marijuana has steadily remained in the lead among primary substances cited by individuals admitted to treatment in Texas. Overall, illicit drug use is actually lower in Texas than nationwide. Just 6.26 percent of Texans reported past-month use of drugs, compared to 8.02 percent of all Americans.16 In 2007, 1,987 people died of accidental drug overdoses in Texas out of the more than 26,000 that did nationwide that year.17
Despite being further from the border than many other cities, trafficking is also a predominant issue for Fort Worth. Nearly every day in the state, drug busts occur, and people are arrested for trafficking substances like methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin in from Mexico. Those who are convicted face penalties ranging from minor fines and six months in jail for possession of small amounts of marijuana to life sentences for the trafficking of harder drugs, like cocaine.18,19
Mental health disorders are more common among individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol. Around 29 percent of all people affected with any mental illness also engage in substance abuse.20
Co-occurring mental illness is a common treatment scenario seen at rehab facilities across the country. Generally, the substance abuse issues that plague these individuals came along after their mental health symptoms arose, but it can happen the other way around. Many people are diagnosed with mental health disorders every year who were living in dysfunction for years and were completely unaware that anything was wrong. They may not have been happy and may have recognized the struggles they had in life, but when the only experiences someone has in life are their own, who is to say what is or isn’t abnormal?
Moreover, it can be difficult to discern why certain behaviors and symptoms occur when someone is abusing drugs or alcohol. This is because many of the symptoms that mental illness can impose — like mood swings, depression, anxiety, fatigue, impulsivity, and other cognitive and emotional symptoms — are akin to those that occur as a result of substance abuse.
Often, mental illness isn’t even suspected by the loved one’s family until it is too late. A reported 3,059 people committed suicide in 2013 in Texas alone, of the 41,149 who did throughout America.21 Intentional drug overdoses make up many of these deaths. Mental illness is estimated to be present in more than 90 percent of individuals who die as a result of suicide.22
Why Treatment Is Necessary
Skimping on treatment or skipping out on it altogether is the biggest mistake someone can make when substance abuse is present. Individuals who continue to deny their need for help only dig themselves further into a murky situation that becomes harder and harder to get out of. When drug abuse is left to fester, dependency can form quickly. Some drugs, such as prescription benzodiazepines and opioid pain relievers, can inflict a strong level of tolerance within mere weeks of misusing or abusing them.
Furthermore, attempting to quit cold turkey without professional help can derail the situation even further. Individuals who regularly abuse these drugs are putting themselves in harm’s way when they attempt to go through withdrawal on their own with no reinforcement or medical care. Many who try this approach end up in the emergency room or worse.
In 2009, 4.6 million people were treated in emergency rooms nationwide for issues stemming from drug use.23 The side effects of withdrawal vary from one substance to another and can include a variety of symptoms, such as:
Diarrhea or constipation
Nausea with or without vomiting
When unsupervised, there is potential for adverse events to occur, such as the development of severe depression, hallucinations, or psychosis that can cause individuals to lose control of the detox process and themselves. Some even act out, harm others, and commit suicide during this time. Thus, medical supervision is strongly advised, and options aren’t lacking in Fort Worth and throughout Texas.
Treatment in Texas
There are various treatment facilities in the Fort Worth area.24 Some are equipped to manage cases of co-occurring mental illness. Some of the most common mental health disorders in the country are also the most commonly seen in clients with substance use disorders. Depression affects around 14.8 million Americans every year.25 Among all states in the nation, Texas is ranked 10th in terms of prevalence of depression.26 Meanwhile, around 32 percent of all people affected by depressive disorders also have trouble with substance abuse.27
Likewise, the demand for treatment of these issues is lower in Texas, and therefore, so is the rate of availability. For every 100,000 people in the state, there are 28.4 psychologists and 7.4 psychiatrists, compared to the national rates of 44.39 and 12.87.28 While 13.7 percent of Americans in need of mental health services are unable to access them, 18.5 percent of Texans aren’t able to access these services.29
The number of people admitted to treatment during 2013 across the state was 39,676.30 Among them, 5,931 had a problem with alcohol alone while 5,150 cited both alcohol and other drugs.31 The most admissions were for the abuse of marijuana at 8,375, followed by heroin at 6,134, and amphetamines at 5,629.32
Individuals in need of intensive treatment and round-the-clock supervision should opt for residential care. However, seeking treatment on an outpatient basis is often no less comprehensive than residential care, but it affords those seeking help a little more flexibility and balance in their lives. This is ideal for people who have children and partners at home, or jobs they can’t take time off from in order to seek residential care.
The first step in getting help is accepting it is needed. The second step is figuring out what kind of treatment plan is in order. Long-term treatment is by far the superior option. Individuals who stay in treatment for at least 90 days and complete it entirely stand to gain the best chance of a full, sustained recovery following rehab.33 This is the best way to build defenses against the potential for relapse.
Any facility worthy of treating substance abuse can’t just set up shop and start operations without first going through a process of verifying credentials. Both federal and state treatment standards apply. Going beyond the facility itself and its practices, the quality and experience of the people employed at a rehab center matter a great deal. If a facility claims to treat mental health disorders, but they don’t have a prescribing psychiatrist on staff, they won’t be of much help to those who need this level of care.
Choosing to get help and give up a life of drug or alcohol abuse isn’t easy, but it is worth it. You can find more information on treatment options, accreditation, and payment assistance through the following state and local resources:
Fort Worth is a top tourist attraction. It is located just 17.5 miles away from a major airport, so it is really easy for visitors to fly in for a quick vacation, and each year, some 6.5 million people do just that, according to the city’s tourism board. But Fort Worth is not just made for tourists. It is also a city that thousands of people call home, and many of those people struggle with drug abuse and addiction.
When addictions strike, it is easy to panic, but it can be just as easy to get help. That is especially true in Fort Worth, as there are many different treatment facilities that are ready and waiting to give real help to people who need it. These are key details about the facilities that are ready to help your family right now:
MHMR Tarrant: The founders of this organization believe that no one should die from the disease of addiction. As a result, the organization has developed a comprehensive suite of services to help people in need. Adults can tap into detoxification and rehab services, provided on either an inpatient or an outpatient basis. Adolescents can use either inpatient or outpatient care. Treatments are available in both English and Spanish, and the organization is willing to work closely with families that have a limited ability to pay for care. Emergency information and referrals are available around the clock. Just call (817) 335-3022.
MedMark Treatment Centers: For many people in the Forth Worth area, opioids like painkillers are often the target of addiction. MedMark has a robust program that can help. This outpatient center provides medications that can quell cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms, and those therapies are augmented by group counseling sessions. Treatment hours are flexible, and all care is confidential. Insurance payments, including Texas Medicaid, are accepted. The organization also provides low-cost and no-cost treatment plans to families that qualify. To find out more, call (817) 207-8700.
Cenikor Foundation: This nonprofit organization provides care to about 1,000 people each and every week. All of these people need help with addictions, and they get that help at one of the dozens of Cenikor locations scattered throughout the United States. In Fort Worth, Cenikor maintains a long-term inpatient care facility for people with addictions. Here, people move into the facility and get around-the-clock care for addictions from a talented team that is always available to help. Payment is easy, as Cenikor accepts insurance. The organization also believes that payment should not be a barrier to care, so the group also works with families on sliding-scale payment programs, so everyone can get the help they need. Contact (800) 236-4567 to find out more.
Mesa Springs: This is a private organization that just opened a 72-bed behavioral health hospital in Fort Worth. Here, people can access inpatient and outpatient addiction care, and there are programs for both adults and adolescents. All of the treatments are evidence-based, and they utilize a program-centered approach that helps people to move past a crisis and into health. In addition to individual and group therapy, people who enroll are offered wellness programming, including nutrition counseling, yoga, pet therapy, and art therapy. Family meals and family education are also provided. Payments from many major insurance providers are accepted, and intake counselors can help to evaluate benefits and develop a comprehensive payment schedule. To find out more, call (817) 292-4600.
Fort Worth Drug Treatment Centers: Treatment provided with both empathy and compassion is the goal of Fort Worth Drug Treatment Centers. This organization provides medical detox, inpatient drug addiction rehab, and outpatient addiction care. Medication management is also available for people who need it. People who have a mental health issue in addition to addiction may also get help for those issues through this organization. Most major insurance programs are accepted. Dial (817) 764-5728 to find out more.
Right Path Drug Rehab: Many addiction treatment facilities ask people to share rooms with one another, but Right Path Drug Rehab is different. This organization believes that privacy is the key to healing for many people, and the group uses a rolling enrollment process to keep head counts low. That process helps to ensure that each person has access to a private room and a great deal of individualized addiction help. This private, inpatient facility can handle the medical detox process, and plans lasting 30, 60, or 90 days can help people learn how to preserve the sobriety they gain in detox. In addition to counseling, the organization offers yoga, kayaking, hiking, and biking to help people learn how to beat back stress and cravings naturally. Insurance is accepted. To find out more about this private, luxury rehab facility, call (888) 539-6947.
Help Addiction Services: Addictions are personal, stemming from a complex interplay of brain signals and lifestyle factors. Help Addiction Services understands this, and that is why the organization offers custom-designed recovery plans for people in need. During a comprehensive evaluation, treatment teams understand the challenges their clients are facing right now, and they develop a comprehensive plan that may include medical detox, inpatient care, outpatient care, and followup. Some people need all of these steps; some need just a few. Those who do need inpatient care will get it in a beautiful location that has boutique amenities. Insurance payments are accepted by this private treatment provider. Call (682) 703-8005 to find out more.
Excel Center: Young people can develop addictions, just as adults do. And sometimes, these young people need structured environments as they heal, so they will not be tempted into making poor choices. The Excel Center can help. This organization provides a day treatment center for children and adolescents ages 5-18. Young people can continue to live at home and learn from their families, but they can learn about addiction and get care for addiction in a safe environment throughout the day. Insurance payments are accepted, and the organization is more than happy to handle those details. To find out more, call (817) 335-6429.
ABODE Treatment: When treatment programs are complete, many people need a little more help in order to stay sober. They may face new challenges at home that they didn’t plan for in treatment, or they may be tempted to relapse when surrounded by temptation at home. Aftercare can help, and ABODE offers those services in Forth Worth. In an aftercare program, people can work with counselors and peers on ongoing sobriety skills, so they do not relapse to bad habits with time and inertia. This is a private organization, and it does not provide payment information online. Call (817) 246-8677 to find out more.
Drug Rehab Centers Fort Worth: This private organization provides help to adults with addictions to drugs and alcohol. The group can supervise the medical detox process, and then provide both inpatient and outpatient addiction care to help people overcome challenges and get started on recovery. The group also specializes in helping people who have mental health issues in addition to addiction. These dual-diagnosis issues respond well to comprehensive care that addresses both problems at the same time. This organization provides that level of care. This private treatment facility accepts most private insurance plans. Call (817) 409-3888 to find out more.
Center for Therapeutic Change: Assessments are on offer at this organization. People who do not know if they need help for a drug or alcohol problem can contact this organization and answer questions about their habits, thought patterns, and preferences. If an addiction is found, these people can get outpatient help here. The group offers personalized treatment plans, and outpatient care is designed to meet the requirements of court-mandated addiction treatment programs. Outpatient programs are provided on flexible schedules, and all counseling is provided by licensed professionals with doctoral or master’s degrees. Payment in full for care is required before enrollment, and no information about insurance plans is provided. Call (817) 548-9990 to find out more.
Recovery Resource Council: Dealing with an addiction all alone can be difficult. Asking for help and getting help from a professional can be a wonderful way to boost healing. The Recovery Resource Council can help. This organization provides addiction assessments, drug and alcohol education courses, and counseling sessions for adults and teenagers with addictions, along with their families. There are no costs involved with screenings, and counseling services are available on a sliding scale. Call (877) 332-6329 to find out more.
TCMERF: The Tarrant County Medical Education and Research Foundation (TCMERF) was founded in 1970 by people who saw a need for treatment options for addicted and indigent people in the community. TCMERF is made to fill that need. Doctors, nurses, and counselors all work together at TCMERF to provide treatment for people in need. This nonprofit group tries to keep fees low, so anyone can afford care. But those who cannot pay those low fees can access free treatment for a short time, until it becomes possible for them to pay fees once more. An intake appointment is required to get the process started. Call (817) 336-5454 to find out more.
Soteria: Faith can be an important part of the recovery process for some people. Soteria can help. This organization provides a faith-based approach to the recovery process. People who enroll are provided with outpatient counseling, including life skills courses and chemical dependency courses. They are also provided with individual counseling. And through it all, people are asked to engage with a Christian recovery process, seeking to develop a stronger relationship with God and live in concert with the word of that God. This private organization does not provide payment or insurance information online. Call (817) 781-2931 to find out more.
H.O.P.E., Inc.: Addictions can be costly and destructive. It is no surprise then that many people who have addictions turn to a life of crime in order to fund their use. H.O.P.E. can help. This organization offers a variety of addiction treatment programs and classes made for people who have enrolled in the criminal justice system due to drugs. Licensed professionals hold those classes, and people who graduate from the classes sometimes stay involved with the program and work as inspirational peers. Individual counseling is also available for people with addictions. Prices are kept low, so income should not be a barrier to care. To find out more about services in Fort Worth, call (817) 927-5441.