Call to Action
Substance abuse is one of the greatest threats facing both the mental and physical well-being of Texans. Trying to deal with this epidemic is difficult because of its strong, mind-altering nature and the damage it does to societies, people and economic stability. The Texas Substance Abuse Helpline is here to help make this great state a healthier place.
About Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is the use of drugs or alcohol to the point of negative physical, mental, economic and social impact. Not only does drug and alcohol abuse impact the individual but society as well, presenting enormous risks to the world, not to mention on a local level.
Substance abuse includes — but is not limited to — the overuse of alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, synthetic marijuana (a deceptively dangerous class of drugs very different from cannabis), prescription drugs (when used without a doctor’s supervision or taken beyond recommended dosage), heroin, hallucinogens and many more destructive drugs. Learning about these chemicals is critical to recognizing addictions in others and yourself.
- Alcohol – One of the most potentially destructive drugs available (despite its legality) when abused. When used responsibly it is a good social lubricant and a way to relax, but frequently drinking to get drunk will eventually lead to severe mental and physical problems, such as dependence, weight gain, liver damage and more
- Cocaine – A powerful stimulant made from the coca plant. Cocaine is a popular street drug typically sniffed for its euphoric and energetic properties. This drug is incredibly taxing on the heart and brain, potentially leading to physical and mental damage that one may or may not recover after
- Methamphetamine – This is an extremely addictive stimulant often known on the street as crank, meth and speed. Meth can cause acute dependence quickly and produces harmful side effects such as paranoia and intense cravings
- Synthetic marijuana – Despite its name, this drug has no relation to marijuana. Legalities concerning this class of substances are slow to evolve because so many formulations exist. As recipes continue to evolve, risks for consuming harmful substances unknowingly increase
- Sedatives – Also known as tranquilizers, these slow brain activity and are used for treating anxiety and sleeping disorders. By nature, this class of drugs can slow the heart rate to dangerous levels if abused
- GHB – Prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy, this can also be used as a date rape drug or abused for its euphoric properties
- Opioids – While important to use when prescribed by a physician in cases of pain affecting daily life, some will abuse these drugs to feel euphoria and relaxation. However, these drugs can cause severe addiction then several health issues over time. Overdose can lead to coma and death. Use only as prescribed then stop when no longer needed to maintain physical and mental health
- Benzodiazepines – More commonly known as muscle relaxers, these include well-known brand names such as Valium, Xanax among others. Often prescribed for anxiety and convulsions
- Stimulants – These include drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. These are typically used to treat attention-deficit disorder and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder. Some use these drugs to focus on their schoolwork or job, staying awake for extra long periods of time
- Hallucinogens – This is a class of drugs that causes hallucinations and changes in thoughts, feelings and consciousness. These include LSD, peyote and PCP. They can cause drastic mood changes and visions even long after the drug use has stopped
On a local level, the National Institute of Health (NIH) has found alcohol the most abused drug in the Lone Star State. In 2012, 58 percent of middle and high school kids had tried alcohol at some point in their lives. Over 10 percent binge drank when they did imbibe. This kind of youth drinking likely signifies a cultural support of this risky habit, making the problem difficult to tackle directly.
Synthetic marijuana is a growing problem in Texas as well as the nation. The NIH finds that this substance is often used by addicts to pass drug tests while still getting high. The Texas Poison Center Network received calls about this dangerous class of drug 1,793 times between 2010 and 2013. The youngest person reported was seven years old.
In better news, cocaine use in Texas has dropped since 1998 due to demand in other countries and production declines. That said, heroin, opioids and other drugs are on the rise in Texas.
With such dangerous epidemics hitting Texas hard, it’s critical for easily accessible resources to stay in reach. This is where the Texas Substance Abuse Helpline comes in. Our dedicated writers provide the latest in informative blogs, guidelines for recognizing substance abuse and more.
Phone numbers and other contact points are also present for addicts needing recovery. Don’t hesitate to contact the Texas Substance Abuse Helpline at any time to get help for yourself or a loved one.