Call us today
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 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
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
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:
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.
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: