Find out about the context and dangers of drug abuse in Dallas
While the state of Texas doesn’t rank among the worst when it comes to drug problems, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro has much higher rates of drug misuse than most urban centers in the area. As a major urban center, Dallas has to deal with many of the issues that exacerbate drug misuse. Its geography has also made it a favorite stop for groups smuggling illicit drugs to the rest of the country.
Historically, alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana have been the most misused drugs in the area. However, in recent decades, opioids such as heroin and prescription painkillers, methamphetamines, and benzodiazepines have started to gain more attention from local health and law enforcement officials. Virtually all the rehab centers in Dallas have seen a steep rise in the number of individuals checking in for problems with these substances.
The ones who do seek rehab tend to have a decent shot at recovery, thanks to better therapeutic techniques and a better scientific understanding behind substance use disorders.
However, the best results to be achievable when someone seeks help early. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear when someone has a problem with their drug misuse, as the signs can often be very subtle.
In this article, we’ll briefly discuss the dangers of substance misuse in Dallas as well as the options for rehab and treatment.
How does drug misuse cause harm?
Drugs that are linked to substance use disorders (SUDs) broadly work in a similar way. They disrupt the brain’s reward pathways so that a person misusing them may become compelled to take more and more of the drug just to feel “normal”. Most of these substances also have other negative physical and psychological effects on their users.
An SUD can harm every part of an individual’s life. Individuals hooked on drugs may develop financial or relationship problems as their condition takes center stage in their life. The dangers of drug misuse also tend to be both immediate and long-term.
Many drugs popular drugs can interfere with a person’s ability to think or respond to outside stimulus, making them a danger to themselves and others. Alcohol, opiates, cannabis, and benzodiazepines, for example, can impair one’s ability to drive or use heavy machinery. In Dallas, driving under the influence of alcohol or any substance is also against the law.
There are other short-term physical risks as well. Most kinds of drug misuse put people at a higher risk of heart attacks, breathing problems, kidney disease, and high blood pressure. Whenever a substance is inhaled, it can lead to lung infections, emphysema, lung cancer, and nasal congestion. Substances like inhalants and alcohol can also cause liver disease. When individuals share needles for injecting drugs, they also risk contracting hepatitis and HIV.
Mental effects of drug misuse
Although the drug user may feel normal, other people may notice extreme mood and mental changes. Individuals under the influence of drugs may become paranoid or suddenly irritated. Certain drugs can also permanently affect someone’s ability to focus or think clearly.
Ultimately, any abused or misused drug will make it more difficult for someone to enjoy their life. Drugs rewire the pleasure and reward mechanisms of the brain. When someone uses drugs, their brain may stop producing endorphins without the drug in their system. In essence, a person with a severe substance use disorder is unable to achieve a normal level of happiness without drugs.
Many drug users also have co-occurring mental health problems. Although some may develop mental issues because of drug use, others start using drugs because of the mental disorder.
Individuals with depression or anxiety disorder may use drugs to mask feelings like fatigue, sadness, or fear. Other conditions like bipolar disorder, ADHD, and antisocial personality disorder are also found in higher proportions among drug users than the general population. Overall, people with mental health problems are twice as likely to have an addiction.
Drug treatment and rehab options in Dallas
There are a variety of treatment programs available in the Dallas metro. Drug addiction treatment may include counseling, medication, or support groups. Inpatient or outpatient programs as well as supplemental therapies such as yoga and outdoor therapy may also be recommended by an attending clinician, depending on the specific case.
The ultimate goal of treatment programs for drug misuse is to help the individual stop using drugs for good. This means that not only are individuals allowed to safely expel chemical traces of the drugs from their system, they are also given the resources and the support to address the root of their substance use disorder. As the treatment program progresses, individuals are taught how to manage stress and negative emotions without resorting to drug use.
Despite the common myth, people do not have to reach rock bottom for treatment to work. In fact, rehab is typically less stressful, less expensive, and has a better chance of long-term success the earlier a substance use disorder is detected and treated.
Individuals who find it difficult to quit on their own can get help. Rehabs in Dallas are equipped to help all types of substance use disorders. For more information on treating and dealing with drug addictions, contact Dallas Drug Treatment Centers at (214) 935-2287.