Houston, Texas (PRWEB) September 19, 2011
Recent Houston Chronicle reports have revealed that the city has become a “national hub for overdose deaths and pill mills.” Women and adolescents in the city struggle with their own particular brands of substance abuse problems, related both to prescription drugs and illicit drugs.
In Houston, illicit prescriptions and admissions to treatment for addiction are on the rise, based on media reports and summaries from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Overall, women very commonly account for a third of addiction treatment admissions. Statistics also show that women struggle with addiction to certain drugs equally or even in much greater proportion with men.
Take cocaine, for example; instead of accounting for one-third of number of admissions as seen with alcohol or marijuana, about half of individuals admitted for crack cocaine or powder cocaine addiction treatment are women. But for prescription drug and methamphetamine addiction statistics in 2009, the numbers got even higher for women.
Prescription opioids: 58 percent of Texans admitted for addiction treatment were women, meaning 2186 women into treatment.
Methamphetamine: Fifty-nine percent of Texas admissions were women, meaning 2245 women.
Prescription sedatives: Sixty-nine percent of Texas admissions were women, so 525 women went to treatment.
The illicit hallucinogen PCP: Sixty-nine percent of 235 Texas admissions were women, resulting in 148 female admissions.
Every one of these statistics was up over 2008 numbers, PCP admissions leading with a 10 percent increase and prescription opioids coming in second at a 9 percent increase.
Houston area admissions match these figures for meth, prescription drug, and cocaine treatment among women, as shown in the Metro Brief for Substance Abuse Treatment issued by SAMHSA.
Youth Struggling with Marijuana, Tranquilizers and Inhalants
Inhalants have had relatively high numbers of admissions for addiction and abuse due to their high availability to youth. Almost any home has substances that can be abused by adolescents and they are very seldom under lock and key. In 2008, 16 Texas youth went into rehabs for treatment for addiction to inhalants – 40 percent of the total. In 2009, this number went up to 23.
Marijuana is also commonly associated with underage addiction. In 2008, 5,208 Texans between 12 and 17 were admitted to rehabs for treatment; in 2009, this number had increased to 5,335. Also in 2009, twelve children aged 11 and under were added to those seeking rehab for marijuana addiction.
But the surprise may be the number of young Texans being admitted for tranquilizer addiction. In 2008, 47 percent of those treated were under 18 and in 2009, the number rose to 50%. Since the number treated rose from 46 to 68, there was a 48 percent increase in children being treated for tranquilizer addiction in just one year.
In Houston, one in seven treatment admissions consisted of children aged 12 to 17. This is almost twice the average.
Statistics Point Out Increasing Need for Effective Drug Rehabilitation
“It will always be critically important to pursue ‘pill mills’ and drug dealers,” stated Derry Hallmark, director of admissions at Narconon Arrowhead. Narconon Arrowhead is a drug-free, long-term rehabilitation center located an hour north of the Texas-Oklahoma border in Canadian, Oklahoma. “Added to the equation must be a drug rehabilitation program that results in the majority of those being treated, and staying clean and sober after completion of the program. But because people being treated a second, third or even fifth time may make up the majority of admissions, it’s wise for a family to choose a rehabilitation program that has a good success rate.” Mr. Hallmark referred to the SAMHSA report from 2005, stating that 56 percent of admissions had been to treatment one or more times before.
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