SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS
Fort Worth, Texas, has been highly proactive in its efforts to curb its drug issues. According to www.drugabuse.gov, the largest current apprehension is that synthetic marijuana – a mind altering substance unrelated to cannabis – and the general epidemic of opiates will evolve. The latter is a trend throughout the country. In the city of Fort Worth, the fear relates to opiates’ growing availability through the state’s DTOs, the strength of Fort Worth’s economy, and the state in general, and a perception of increased affordability on the part of African American and Hispanic users who statistically in the city do not earn as much as their white counterparts and yet strive for the same results.
Though Fort Worth maintains one Texas’ largest drug problems, the city and surrounding region also maintain one of the largest ongoing efforts to curb abuse. The current HIDTA team has seen an increased budget in 2018 based on 2017 needs and expenditures.
In statistics very similar to that of Columbus, Ohio, law enforcement has increased in correlation with the degree of specific drug abuses. Inadvertently, abuse of prescription stimulants – a direct causality of an effort to curb certain young adult mental health issues, such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – appears primed to upswing in 2018. Ritalin, as with most of the rest of the country, has lessened in use, while Adderall has become not only increasingly abused, but also sold or shared by other sufferers. The number may not be large, especially in reference to other statistics from harder drugs including kush but, like Columbus, the signs are discouraging.
Also like Columbus, Adderall is predicted to further decrease in 2018, in favor of the cheaper Vyvanse, which serves the same purpose and is available for .25 per mg. Reason for the decrease appears to be correlated with the lessening of diagnosed ADHD cases in the city, thereby making the drug less available. However, that does not mean the drug is not available.
That said, the incontrovertible truth of the addict is such that most any drug can be had for a price. Whatever one needs, or craves … or wants, an addict will find.
But, as mentioned earlier, help is always out there. Always do your own research to find what is best for you, and use the above listings as a base. Many of the centers previously mentioned will accept Medicaid and Medicare, or cash. Many will also work with you in terms of financial assistance. Do your diligence first, and then pick up the phone.
As ever, true recovery begins with the acknowledgment that you have an issue, and then seeking help for that issue.
ABOUT THE CITY
Fort Worth, located in North Central Texas, is the fifth largest city in the state, and the 16th largest city in the United States. It is the county seat of Terrant County. The city is known for its Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and its numerous museums and cultural centers. Corporations housed in Fort Worth include Lockheed Martin, Radio Shack, American Airlines, and Pier 1 Imports. Colleges are plentiful; among those in the city include Texas Wesleyan and Texas A&M School of Law.
Fort Worth, Texas, covers a geographical area of nearly 350 square miles. The population of the city proper, according to the most recent census, is upwards of 900,000. Fort Worth is the second largest city in the metropolitan area known as the DFW Metroplex (comprised of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington).
The economy is strong, though median incomes are lower than may be expected: approximately $40,000 for a household, and approximately $45,000 for a household with a family. The DFW is presently ranked by Biz Journal as a Top U.S. Housing Market. The racial makeup of Fort Worth is approximately 62% Caucasian, 35% Hispanic of any race (including nearly 30% of that number as Mexican), 19% African American, and 4% Asian, with the rest listed from the recent census as American Indian, Pacific Islander, or a racial mix. Note: The percentages as listed exceed 100%, which is related to the figure of “Hispanic of any race.”
A STATEMENT FROM THE CITY COUNCIL
The state of Texas has long been listed by the U.S. Department of Justice as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and Fort Worth as a particularly problematic city as it regards issues related to trafficking. An ordinance was approved by the Fort Worth City Council, on October 10, 2017, by the eight-officer HIDTA entity 35FY2018 HIDTA Western Drug Squad Group 2, to authorize an agreement with the DOJ for reimbursement of overtime costs in the amount of up to $144,336. Such costs were accrued via increased efforts on the part of the city to fight trafficking and other drug-related issues in 2017, with the understanding that their 2018 efforts would remain consistent.
The agreement was for the fiscal year 2018, and the funds are to be placed in the current year’s operating budget.
Within the city council meeting was recorded the following statement:
The Texoma High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Western Drug Squad/Group 2 Task Force seeks to disrupt the illicit drug traffic in the City of Fort Worth by immobilizing targeted violators and trafficking organizations, gathering and reporting intelligence data relating to trafficking of narcotics and other dangerous drugs, and by conducting undercover operations where appropriate. The task force will also engage in other traditional methods of investigations in order that the task force’s activities will result in effective prosecution in both state and federal courts.
A cursory read of said statement clearly elucidates the need for such efforts to continue at the highest level.
DRUG STATISTICS & CULTURE IN FORT WORTH
Since the state of Texas has been considered for many years a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) by the U.S. Department of Justice, their issues have remained consistent over the decade, save primarily for the year-to-year increase in opiate usage, correlating with growing and evolving U.S. epidemic in general.
- The impact of methamphetamine, especially ice methamphetamine, has remained consistent from prior years, not lessening to any notable degree but below the national average.
- Issues related to prescription drugs, inclusive of ADHD medication typically prescribed to children.
- Other CPDs (controlled prescription drugs) also mirror much of the country and have slightly increased in overdose deaths year-to-year.
- Highly-potent strains of pot continue to be in high demand. Kush (synthetic marijuana) remains highly popular.
- Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) continue to escalate their activities and presence, primarily in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Young people are being particularly targeted by area or nearby DTOs. Some 2016-2017 statistics involving teen users include the following:
- 16 people, including a University of Houston assistant professor, were federally charged in a $35 million international drug ring that was said to have produced nearly 10 tons of synthetic marijuana (“kush”).
- Deaths by drug overdoses at Texas College frat houses, though irregular in terms of occurrence, have happened with some consistency over the past five years. At a College Station Texas A&M frat house in 2016, a 19-year-old male lost his life following an overdose, and four were arrested on drug charges.
- Tainted ecstasy was suspected in the death of a high school cheerleader at Houston’s Free Press Summer Festival.
- 12 teens overdosed on what was reported as a tainted batch of synthetic marijuana, each experiencing paranoia and hallucinations prior to hospitalization.
Fort Worth specially has been hit hard with synthetic cannabinoids and marijuana – which is not marijuana in reality, but synthetic mind-altering chemicals either sprayed on plant material and then smoked as herbal incense, or vaporized and inhaled (in e-cigarettes and other such delivery devices), as liquid incense. Manufacturers package the product in colorful material, particularly to appeal to young people.
Word-of-mouth has spread that such synthetics have become increasingly seductive to adults. The usage of such kush in Fort Worth exceeds the national average, at 10%, as the fourth-largest user-city behind Baltimore, Cleveland, and the Texas city of Houston (12.3%).
In terms of actual, non-synthetic marijuana use, like most of the rest of the country users try to take advantage of lenient medical marijuana laws. As for statistics related to young people, nearly 40% of Fort Worth high school students who smoke regularly, tried it for the first time before their 13th birthday.
Otherwise, high school Fort Worth drug use mirrors the usage of adults: nearly 6% use cocaine on a regular basis, which is above the national average, 5.5% use ecstasy, also above the national average and most especially prevalent with single adults who visit dance clubs, and pot use increases on a yearly basis.
On a city-wide basis regardless of young person or adult, heroin, and meth (speed, crystal, crank, or ice) are lower than the national averages).
In 2017, a Fort Worth man was convicted for participating in an Aryan Brotherhood-controlled meth ring. He was found guilty of a conspiracy to locally distribute 500 grams of the substance in a specialty mix with other drugs. Indeed, a cursory google search will tell the tale of the ongoing meth issue in Fort Worth. Again, though the numbers are below the national average, the trafficking and usage of methamphetamine remain a consistent issue.
Alcohol is an ongoing issue in Fort Worth, which maintains over 25 alcohol-specific rehab centers within the vicinity. In this regard, Fort Worth is very much on the national average. 50% of all car accidents in the city are alcohol-related.
You can find pre-intake sample applications online. In this case, as with any other self-diagnostic tool, the questions as asked are exploratory only. You must speak to a trained and licensed professional for any true diagnosis. Still, such online tools such as a pre-intake questionnaire can be extremely useful. If you can honestly answer those questions, you may be validated, or you may dislike your responses. If you were drawn to the tool, likely both will apply. Regardless, consider your results, and then take necessary action.
To determine the extent and nature of one’s addiction, pre-intake questions may include the following: “How long have you been using?” “Do you believe you have a problem?” “Do you
think others who know you believe you have a substance-related problem?” “Have others confronted you with questions related to substance abuse?” “Do you ever use alone?” “Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking one particular drug was the problem?” “Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?” “Have you ever been in a jail, a hospital, or a drug rehabilitation center because of your using?”
There are pros and cons with online resources such as these, particularly when it comes to completely basing your treatment decisions on your own responses. That would be a negative, as remember, such questions are guidelines only without a trained professional to analyze your answers. Regardless of whether such questions are based on true-life examples of treatment center queries (they usually are), you may not be the best arbiter of your responses. Most especially if you are under the influence of any drug, or alcoholic drink. On the positive side, if you can be truthful with your answers, such online questions will certainly provide a glimpse into your condition, and the need for help.
Kudos to you for checking such online resources to begin with. That’s certainly a proactive start.
A quick note: Even if you don’t believe you are addicted, but are concerned that your usage is growing, help is out there. You do not have to be on the far side of addiction to reach out to various resources on The Recover. In the same spirit, if you are drawn to use, but have not yet, The Recover provides resources available to you as well. It is never too early, nor is it ever too late.
These are tools that have been formed for reason, and they are there for you.
Many addicts, or users with a problem whose usage is not yet defined as an addiction, make the mistake of not taking the first step towards sobriety as it regards intake. If you need help in making an informed decision as to what treatment method is right for you, we cannot encourage you strongly enough to, again, speak to family and/or friends who have been there before. Sometimes, a user has a difficult time making such decisions with a clear head.
And once more, if you know of no one who has been through these issues before, please contact one of the centers as listed on this page.
Also, we encourage you to ask yourself a few questions: 1) What is holding you back from getting help? 2) Do you believe you have a support system? If so, do you feel comfortable contacting them and speaking about your problem? If not, would you feel more comfortable contacting a professional? And 4) Do you believe you are capable of making an informed decision as to your treatment? If yes, you are well-advised to take advantage of one or more of the resources here. If no, you are strongly advised to contact one of the phone numbers listed here, and discuss your reservations.
Again, they are there to help.
During the intake application process, you will be required to list your prescription medications and days and times taken (if “none,” you check “none”), an authorization of medical care, a list of allergies or other medical issues, and a waiver of responsibility. Some applications ask more. A physician or treatment center representative will then review your application for the proper steps, and treatment.
If you have come this far, kudos to you. You have taken a major step towards reclaiming your life, and your potential.
The concept and practice of detox is typically broken down into three distinct phases: Evaluation, Stabilization, and Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab.
Evaluation: As overseen by a doctor, who will determine what drugs are presently being used, how long has the patient been using, and how much and how frequently the patient uses.
Stabilization: Stabilization differs patient to patient, based on specific substance being abused. This is the end result of the withdrawal phase.
Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab: Many addicts believe that once they complete withdrawal, they are finished with their treatment. That is a dangerous belief, as withdrawal only releases the immediate physical hold of the substance.
Communication is key. Some users are resistant to treatment, most especially when in a treatment center against their will. In this instance, your communication with your specialists will be at risk. Remember, they are there to help you. You have the freedom to ask questions, and the right to receive answers.
That is one of the benefits of treatment, a better understanding of your illness.
INPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
Inpatient treatment is frequently misunderstood, as there are several options available to the user under that umbrella title. Many people believe the term to refer to only hospital treatment. Or, only highly-restrictive treatment. In reality, it is neither.
Inpatient treatment can either be PHP (a partial hospitalization providing a highly-structured environment, with typically active treatment of 30 hours per week), the less-intensive IOP (intensive outpatient treatment plan, which requires up to three hours daily over 3-5 days, for a total of nine hours weekly; therapy is usually included, but the patient can live either at their own home or a halfway house during the process), and an RTC (residential).
Though you may be the best determinant of the degree of inpatient recovery resources best suited to your needs, frequently one may need the help of family or friends to help you more clearly identify the treatment options that are most prudent for your needs. From there, only your personal commitment will determine your success.
PHPs and RTCs are amazing resources for those with more severe or difficult abuse issues. Both options are highly-structured, especially the former. The importance of structure cannot be understated. You will have a time for medicinal treatment, a time for personal or group therapy, a time to rest, a time for activities …
Frequently, a user has little structure outside of the treatment center. The user is more interested in the high than by scheduling their day via their clock. The structure of PHP treatment, particularly, may be a challenge for some. But, if you allow the treatment to take its course, the end-result can exceed your most optimistic hopes.
So ask yourself: “Do I do well in a structured environment?” “Am I functional in a structured environment, or will I have a better chance to succeed with something less restrictive? As ever, a user if not always the best determinant as to treatment. If a user is high while making the decision, that will be in no one’s best interests. It’s time to commit, with as free a sense of mind as possible.
We will talk more about the level of commitment in a moment.
OUTPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
Outpatient treatment is a comprehensive approach to wellness, and no less impactful than inpatient services. Please research the importance of outpatient treatment resources on The Recover, or speak to loved ones who have been through the process. Recovery is an ongoing process, which requires a substantive lifestyle change to avoid the ever-present threat of a relapse.
Let’s discuss a bit further. Outpatient treatment allows the patient a certain level of responsibility to remain clean while outside of the treatment center. You will face temptations but will have also learned specific strategies as to how to deal with them. It is up to you to take advantage of those lessons. There is a certain degree of trust on the part of the outpatient treatment administrators that the user will remain clean, and at the same time outpatient treatment allows for the user to remain productive on the outside while still receiving help. If you work, you can schedule your outpatient appointments or check-ins after hours.
One very important point, though, under this or any treatment circumstance: The entirely of your treatment is a commitment. Outpatient or not, if you miss one appointment you will likely miss another. That is a recipe for failure. What you allow, you encourage.
Never allow an excuse to fail. More precisely, let’s say it as it is: There are countless reasons why one would fail, in this or any other environment. Laziness, rigidity, intimidation …
There are fewer reasons to succeed: Yourself, first of all, then your loved ones (your collective of family and friends). Which means more to you? The pain of the commitment to get well, or the pleasure of using? If you answer the latter question as your affirmative, consider those loved ones who care about you, and worry about you.
On that note, let us elaborate upon the concept of commitment for a moment. Some users resent the term, thinking many of those who do not use, or who are not otherwise plagued by addiction, tend to believe commitment is that much easier than it truly is. How can a user commit to anything at all, one may ask, much less treatment if said user is overwhelmed by their addiction?
It is very difficult. Really, it is. But you can do this. You can reclaim your life, as none of us are defined by our addictions.
More on Inpatient Vs. Outpatient
AFTERCARE AND SOBER LIVING RESOURCES
Not all sober houses or aftercare facilities are created equal. However, you will frequently be surrounded by others in a supportive and understanding environment, others who have undergone similar difficulties. Sober houses most frequently prove to the addict – which as you see here is a message on repeat – that you are not alone.
There have been several popular television shows on various networks over the last decade that have dramatized the sober living experience. We suggest that you watch with caution, as several of these shows contain scripted elements that do not necessarily give a positive view of what could be a positive experience.
We’ve seen users looking forward to attending sober houses for all the wrong reasons. The sober house experience is an often integral part of your overall treatment. But, it can be as abused as the substances for which you have been admitted.
You will live among others in a place away from your home. A sober care facility will actually be your new home until you leave. Others can influence you, so be careful. Sober living can be a hugely beneficial and beautiful experience, but you must remember, you are still in treatment.