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The Misuse of alcohol and drugs has caused problems in homes and families across the United States. Houston is no exception. In 2022 alone, there were more than 50 press releases announcing large drug seizures or arrests in the DEA Houston field division.1 In light of the persistent threat of drug trafficking across the United States–Mexico border, drug and alcohol rehab centers in Houston have become the front line in the fight against addictions of all types and severities in Texas.

Alcohol Use and Misuse in Houston

As a substance used by 50% of people 12 and older in the United States, alcohol is an easily accessible substance that can have dangerous consequences.2. The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health discovered the following statistics:2

  • Over 60 million people (22.2%) in the United States admitted to binge drinking alcohol within one month of being surveyed.
  • 18- to 25-year-olds were the most likely age group to binge drink alcohol.
  • Throughout the United States and District of Colombia, 16.1% of people aged 12-20 had consumed alcohol within one month of being surveyed.
  • Based on the DSM-5 criteria, approximately 28.3 million people had an alcohol use disorder diagnosis in 2020.

Texas statistics related to alcohol-impaired driving surpassed national numbers in most categories.3 The CDC published the following statistics comparing Texas to national alcohol-misuse statistics:3

  • From 2009 to 2018, 13,592 people died in Texas from accidents involving a driver impaired by alcohol, the highest nationwide.
  • Texas deaths involving alcohol impairment were found to occur at a rate of 5 deaths per 100,000 people (3.2 per 100,000 was the national average).
  • 2.2% of Texas adults reported driving after drinking too much in the 30 days before being surveyed (1.7% nationwide).

As a result, Houston alcohol treatment centers play an important role in helping residents regain their lives after alcohol misuse. Residents from all over the nation take advantage of Houston’s alcohol detox and rehab programs. The Houston State of Health reported the following Houston-specific statistics concerning alcohol use:4

  • Houston adults were shown to have a higher percentage of binge drinking than the rest of Texas and the United States, with 18.3% of the population binge drinking in 2019.
  • From 2017 to 2019, there were 1.4 hospitalizations due to alcohol use per 10,000 people in Houston.

Drug Use and Misuse in Houston

Like much of the United States, people in Houston are affected by drug traffic and suffer the consequences of misuse. According to the State of Texas Drug Use Patterns and Trends, 2019, gathered by the University of Texas at Austin, methamphetamine is the number one drug threat in Houston and across Texas.5 Despite the increasing national problem of heroin and other opioids, methamphetamine and cocaine stand above as the leading danger for people who use drugs in Texas.5 If you or a loved one need a Houston drug detox program for psychostimulant or opiate treatment, there are options available.

Methamphetamine Addiction Statistics in Houston

Deaths from psychostimulants such as methamphetamine have risen steadily from 1999 to 2018.5 They are responsible for the highest number of deaths in all drug categories.5 Additionally, methamphetamine remained the largest category of drug seizures in 2018, accounting for 40% of drug seizures identified in Texas laboratories.5 Substantial amounts of methamphetamine are trafficked across the Mexican border into Texas, which allows it to be readily available at lower-than-usual prices.5 Despite the lower prices, the DEA reported that the purity of meth samples in 2019 increased from 95.6% to 97.5%.5

The following facts reflect the dangers of an uncontrolled methamphetamine problem throughout Texas:5

  • 43% of people admitted into rehab for methamphetamine use in 2018 used no other drugs.
  • Methamphetamine use contributed to 18% of all admissions in treatment programs in 2019.
  • In 2018, 59% of people who used methamphetamine did so by smoking, 27% injected it, and 9% inhaled it.
  • Of the 957 Texas methamphetamine deaths in 2018, 189 involved heroin, and 66 involved fentanyl.

Houston Cocaine Use Statistics

Cocaine is the second-highest-used drug in the Houston DEA Field Division.5 It is primarily trafficked from Colombia and has decreased in price as supply increased in the years preceding 2019.5 Some statistics concerning cocaine use in Texas are:5

  • Cocaine users in 2018 were most likely to inhale cocaine (rather than smoke it), to be Hispanic, and to be older than in previous years.
  • The percentage of people admitted to Texas treatment programs for cocaine use decreased steadily from 1999 to 2018 to represent 8% of all admissions.
  • Crack cocaine accounted for 46% of cocaine use in 2018, a decrease from previous years.
  • People who smoke crack cocaine are the most likely (of those admitted for cocaine use) admissions to have co-occurring problems with employment, the criminal justice system, and social or physical problems.

Opioid Addiction and Misuse in Houston

Opioid misuse may involve heroin, illegal fentanyl, or prescription opioids. They account for the third highest drug use category in the Houston DEA Field Division.5 The most prevalent forms of heroin used in Texas are black tar heroin or powdered brown heroin.5 As a powder, dealers often mix it with fentanyl without informing the buyer.5 However, due to the prevalence of Mexican black tar heroin, which is not easily mixed with fentanyl, Texas has not seen the epidemic of fentanyl deaths that the majority of the United States has experienced.5

According to the CDC, nationwide deaths involving any opioid increased by 44% from 2017 to 2020.6 Additionally, nationwide overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) were more than double the number of overdose deaths of any other drug.6 Psychostimulants were the second highest drug category involved in overdose deaths with 23,837 people who overdosed.6

Whether or not Texas residents have experienced an opioid epidemic as threatening as the rest of the nation, Houston opiate treatment programs are well-equipped to offer assistance for opiate detox and addiction treatment. Additional statistics involving heroin and other opioids in Texas include:5

  • Only 80 of 684 heroin-involved deaths in 2018 had also consumed fentanyl.
  • In the first half of 2019, the most common drugs combined with confiscated heroin samples were diphenhydramine (54%), methamphetamine (15%), and fentanyl (3%).
  • Hydrocodone was the number one controlled substance dispensed in Texas in 2019, with tramadol in second.
  • Incidences of tramadol misuse identified from toxicology labs in Texas more than doubled from 2013 to 2018.
  • The number of poison control center calls and treatment admissions for opioid misuse decreased for all opioids from 2017 to 2018.
  • 33% of deaths due to opiates in Texas, excluding heroin, involved fentanyl, and 20% involved tramadol in 2018.
  • Less than 2% of the 1,421 deaths due to psychostimulants or cocaine in Texas in 2018 involved fentanyl.

Benzodiazepine Use and Misuse in Houston

Benzodiazepine misuse is often done in conjunction with other drugs.5 In 2018, 53% of benzodiazepine deaths in Texas involved fentanyl, and 22% involved tramadol.5 Despite a decline in alprazolam (Xanax) as a treatment choice from 2016 to 2018, it has remained over five times more prevalent than other benzodiazepines in toxicology lab identifications.5

Other statistics involving benzodiazepines are:2, 5, 7

  • 60% of people enrolled in Texas treatment programs for benzodiazepine misuse in 2018 were White and 51% were female.
  • In 2020, 4.8 million people nationwide misused benzodiazepines.
  • Nationwide, 1.2 million people had a prescription tranquilizer or sedative use disorder (including benzodiazepines) in 2020.
  • According to NIDA and SAMHSA, 80% of people who misuse benzodiazepines receive them from friends or relatives rather than their doctor.

Marijuana and Cannabinoid Use in Houston

Marijuana use and possession are illegal throughout Texas, though medicinal use of one cannabinoid product is legal.5 In 2018, 73 deaths throughout Texas involved marijuana, and 53% of those were also influenced by other drugs.5

In Harris County, including Houston, the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program (MMDP) was implemented in 2017 to allow those convicted of misdemeanor possession or use of marijuana to participate in a 4-hour education and reform program instead of arrest and criminal charges if they meet eligibility requirements.8 As a result, the number of marijuana misdemeanor convictions was reduced by 80% within the first year of the program.9

Detailed statistics concerning the misuse of marijuana in Texas include:5

  • From 2015 to 2018, 33% of poison center calls concerning marijuana taken by oral capsule or pill resulted in death.
  • The percentage of individuals admitted to rehab for problems with marijuana use was 51% in 2018, no higher than the average percentage since 1998.
  • Cannabis was the second most common drug seized and identified through the first half of 2019.

Houston Drug and Alcohol Detox and Treatment

If you or a loved one needs treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, there are many Houston residential treatment centers available. In 2018, 70,543 people were admitted for substance use disorder treatment throughout Texas, which was down from 76,356 in 2017.5 Of those admitted, 22.9% and 22.7% had problems with alcohol or benzodiazepines, respectively.5

But, according to the NIH, 75% of U.S. adults who have suffered from a drug use disorder at some point in their life never receive any form of treatment.10 Similarly, approximately one-third of U.S. adults have suffered from alcohol use disorder at some point in their lives, but only 20% receive treatment.10 Treatment may consist of detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, or a combination depending on a person’s needs.

Further statistics concerning treatment admissions, detox, and withdrawal are:5, 11

  • In 2018, the average age of people admitted to rehab in Texas for alcohol use disorder was 39.2 years, 39.9 years for cocaine, 35.9 years for heroin, 34.4 years for meth, 25.6 years for marijuana, and 28.8 years for benzodiazepines.
  • Nationwide, 42% of people admitted to state-funded rehab facilities completed their program in 2019.
  • 25% of people involved in state-funded addiction services nationwide in 2019 dropped out before completing treatment.

Cost of Rehab in Houston

Figuring out how to afford treatment for drug or alcohol addiction treatment in Houston does not have to be a barrier to treatment. Many programs are willing to help you determine if your insurance covers their services. Some centers can offer self-pay or sliding-scale payment options.

Additionally, the Texas Mental Health Condition and Substance Use Disorder (MHCSUD) Parity Strategic Plan published in 2021 established guidelines to ensure that insurance plans must offer equal benefits for mental health treatment as are covered for medical and surgical treatment.12 For those who do not have insurance or adequate coverage, many state-funded programs exist for treatment.11

  • In 2019, State-funded treatment programs admitted 38,085 people aged 12 and older.
  • Only 12.5% of people who were discharged from state-funded treatment centers paid with private insurance or self-pay, while the majority paid with Medicare, Medicaid, other government payment, workers’ compensation, or did not pay anything at all.

The cost of treatment varies depending on several factors:

  • Length of treatment
  • Inpatient vs outpatient treatment
  • Treatment center amenities (luxury or executive treatment centers)
  • Hospital vs residential treatment centers
  • Other treatment needs
  • Types of insurance accepted
  • Location (which state, which city, rural, or urban)

Whatever your treatment needs and ability to pay, there is likely a treatment center available that can meet your requirements. Virtue Recovery Center in Houston is well-equipped to treat addictions to all drugs of abuse. Call today and see if Virtue Recovery Center could be the Houston drug rehabilitation center or Houston alcohol rehabilitation center for you.


  1. DEA. (2022). Press Releases: Houston Field Division.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP21-07-01-003, NSDUH Series H-56). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  3. CDC. (2020, July). Sobering facts: alcohol-impaired driving: Texas.
  4. Houston State of Health. (2022). Advanced Search: Houston Health Indicators.
  5. Maxwell, J.C. (2019). State of Texas Drug Use Patterns and Trends, 2019.
  6. CDC. (2022). Overdose death rates.
  7. NIDA. (2018, October). Research suggests benzodiazepine use is high while use disorder rates are low.
  8. Harris County DA. (2019). Misdemeanor marijuana diversion program.
  9. Ortiz, A. (2019). Harris County reduces convictions for marijuana misdemeanor possession by 80 percent.
  10. NIH. (2015, November). 10 percent of US adults have drug use disorder at some point in their lives.
  11. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): 2019. Admissions to and Discharges From Publicly Funded Substance Use Treatment. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2021.
  12. MHCSUD. (2021, August). Texas mental health condition and substance use disorder parity strategic plan.

Author: Lauren G., M.D.

Author Bio: Dr. Lauren G. graduated from medical school at Loma Linda University in 2021. Since graduation, she has been working as a freelance medical writer, in lieu of clinical practice, to provide flexibility for her young and growing family. She has published articles with American Addiction Centers, GoodRx, and other substance use treatment and psychiatry websites. Always having a passion for writing and education, Dr. Geoffrion enjoys being able to write content that allows non-medical personnel to better understand their personal health and well-being.

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