Explosion of Drug Addiction in Texas Creates Need for More Counselors

The demand for substance abuse counselors in the Lone Star State has increased dramatically over the last few decades. Drug addiction in Texas, specifically San Antonio and Austin, has exploded and stakeholders say that more personnel is needed at the ground level to more effectively address the problem. Like the rest of the country, which saw more than 64,000 overdose fatalities in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas drug addiction is increasing at record rates. Primary factors that have contributed to the increase steady rates of meth abuse and newer threats like prescription opioids and fentanyl.

Drug addiction in Texas, specifically opioids, has led to a significant in drug-related deaths and an erosion of families and communities. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration found that deaths are increasing in the Northwest and Midwest and have now moved to Texas. According to the DEA, fentanyl-related deaths nationwide are up from previous years by 73 percent. Prevention advocates and law enforcement alike say that more treatment professionals, including clinicians and counselors may help curb the outbreak of addiction that has consumed many regions within Texas’ borders. The need for personnel highlights a national problem regarding the scarcity of treatment resources in general.

Drug addiction in Texas has created serious public health and quality of life issues for many of the state’s residents. In Austin, specifically, substance abuse and addiction is one of the primary drivers of homelessness. While officials and community advocates have begun to address the quality-of-life issues surrounding the issue, efforts may yield little tangible results without the expansion of treatment resources in the area. Those who are looking to affect change in their Texas community can start by increasing their education about the issues plaguing their locales and take proactive steps to solve them. As the friends, loved ones and neighbors of everyone who has been affected by drug abuse in Texas, we all have skin in the game.