Updated on May 20, 2024
2 min read

Updated Drug and Alcohol Statistics for Texas

Texas is facing a significant drug and alcohol abuse crisis, with the state experiencing high rates of substance use disorders, opioid overdose deaths, and excessive alcohol consumption. This article presents an overview of the current state of drug and alcohol use in Texas, highlighting alarming statistics on substance use and related arrests, the opioid epidemic, and the challenges in providing adequate treatment and recovery services.

  • The state's drug overdose deaths increased more than 75% during the past five years. In 2021, the drug overdose death rate was 15.8 deaths per 100,000 residents.1
  • Excessive alcohol use cost Texas $16.5 billion, or $1.89 per drink, in 2013.2
  • Over 30% of adults in the United States reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression in February 2023, with substance use and death rates due to substances worsening in the U.S.3

Substance Use and Disorders

Texas has seen changes in drug abuse arrest rates and drug seizures in recent years.

  • The drug abuse arrest rate was 302.6 arrests for every 100,000 persons in 2020, marking a decrease of 31.6 from 2019.4
  • There were 74,778 arrests for drug possession in 2020, representing a 31.0% decrease compared to 2019.4
  • Significant quantities of illegal drugs were seized in 2020, including 125,340 pounds of marijuana and 1,565 pounds of heroin.4

Alcohol Use and Related Issues

Alcohol use, particularly excessive drinking and binge drinking, is a major concern in Texas.

  • Excessive alcohol use cost Texas $16.5 billion, or $1.89 per drink, in 2013.2
  • In 2011, 18.9% of adults and 23.5% of high school students reported binge drinking.2
  • The alcohol consumption per person aged ≥14 was 2.3 gallons in 2010.2
Texas chart 1
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Opioid Crisis and Overdose Deaths

The opioid crisis has had a devastating impact on Texas, with a sharp increase in overdose deaths in recent years.

  • The state's drug overdose deaths increased more than 75% during the past five years. In 2021, the drug overdose death rate was 15.8 deaths per 100,000 residents.1

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Youth Substance Use

Monitoring youth substance use is crucial for developing targeted prevention and intervention strategies.

  • Data on youth alcohol use rates and perceptions are collected through the Texas School Survey of Drugs & Alcohol Use, which surveys secondary students every 2 years.5

Additional Statistics

Other substance use trends and challenges in Texas include:

  • Over 30% of adults in the United States reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression in February 2023, with substance use and death rates due to substances worsening in the U.S.3
  • There were 1,375 opioid-related deaths in Texas in 2016.6

The statistics presented in this article underscore the severity of the drug and alcohol abuse crisis in Texas. From the alarming increase in opioid overdose deaths to the devastating impact of excessive alcohol use and the concerns surrounding youth substance use, it is evident that urgent action is needed to address these issues. By investing in prevention, treatment, and recovery services, and promoting collaboration among community stakeholders, Texas can work towards supporting those struggling with addiction and creating a healthier future for all its residents.

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Updated on May 20, 2024

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