What Are the Most Commonly Used Drugs in San Antonio?
The most recent drug abuse statistics in San Antonio reveal some changes in patterns of usage, as drugs illegally imported from Mexico have transformed local markets. This has led to increases in drug consumption overall, and three drugs in particular have seen use levels spike in the San Antonio area: marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin.
Marijuana Use in San Antonio
Based on illegal drug seizures and admittance patterns at local rehab centers, it is clear that marijuana is far and away the most abused drug in San Antonio and its surrounding communities.
Each year, the police seize many more tons of marijuana than all other drugs combined, most of it coming from south of the border and directly traceable to the activities of the infamous Mexican drug cartels. Meanwhile, about one in four people who seek health services at addiction treatment centers are there primarily for marijuana abuse, contradicting the reputation of America’s most popular illegal intoxicant as a benign substance.
Methamphetamine Makes a Comeback
Until recently, it seemed San Antonio law enforcement had gained the upper hand in the fight against methamphetamine, getting help from local businesses that were carefully monitoring sales of chemicals used in the manufacture of this dangerous and highly addictive substance.
However, imports from Mexico have changed things for the worse. More than 80,000 San Antonio adults are believed to have used methamphetamine at some time in their lives, representing a notable increase from the past few years.
Meth produced in Mexico is highly toxic, powerful and represents a true threat to the health of Texas residents. The average lifespan of a meth addict is less than 10 years.
Heroin Use on the Rise
While the number of local residents suffering from opioid painkiller addiction has declined, the percentage of the population using heroin has increased.
This change in drug use patterns is not coincidental; the development of tamper-proof versions of popular opioid painkillers, along with medical professionals’ attempts to reduce indiscriminate prescribing of these drugs, has pushed many opioid addicts toward heroin. Some painkiller addicts use it interchangeably with its pharmaceutical-grade cousins.
According to a 2013 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 40,000 San Antonio residents have used heroin at some point. Drug abuse statistics in San Antonio don’t exactly reveal a burgeoning heroin epidemic (about 6% of adults have tried it), but they do show a disturbing trend of increasing usage that is right in line with what has been happening elsewhere around the country.
Drug Treatment in San Antonio is Available and Effective
Among the remaining illicit drugs, only cocaine is still used by a statistically significant percentage of San Antonio area residents. Thankfully, cocaine use has been declining; its days as a significant factor on the local drug scene appear to be numbered.
Drug abuse statistics in San Antonio have been in flux; but regardless of an addict’s drug of choice, treatment services are available and can make a positive impact. Recovery from addiction is never easy, but it is a realistic hope for men and women who are truly ready to make a long-term commitment to sobriety and overall wellness.
“Drug Use in San Antonio, Texas” – Health Street
“Substance Abuse Trends in Texas: 2014” – Drugabuse.gov
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