topics Policy Research Substance Use Disorder: Opioids & Methamphetamine

Substance Use Disorder: Opioids & Methamphetamine

In March 2018, MMHPI provided a summary of key facts regarding substance use disorder (SUD) needs and services in Texas as well as addressing questions related to the opioid crisis at the time of publishing. While many people use substances, only some use is harmful enough to be considered misuse (examples include underage drinking, experimental drug use). An even smaller percentage meets diagnostic criteria for having substance use disorders (SUD), which is a pattern of harmful, continued use that causes impairment.

How many Texans need SUD services?

  • Nearly eight of every 100 Texans has a substance use disorder. This includes five in 100 youth and eight in 100 adults.
  • SUDs are the leading contributor to children entering the Child Protective Services (CPS) system, contributing to two-thirds of CPS cases in 2016.
  • Drug overdose is a leading cause of maternal deaths in Texas. Most of these deaths are due to licit or illicit use of prescription opioids.
  • Individuals with severe SUDs commonly have co-occurring mental health conditions that also require intervention. At least one third of adults and one fourth of youth with SUDs in Texas have co-morbid psychiatric conditions.

The Opioid Crisis

  • From 1999 to 2014, the number of drug overdoses from opioid use tripled in the U.S. Among 47,055 drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2014, over 60% involved an opioid. Over 1,000 Texans died from opioid overdoses in 2016. 16
  • In Texas, opioid-involved overdose deaths increased 400% from 1999 to 2015.
  • In the past few years, highly potent and dangerous synthetic opioids have started to appear in Texas, as elsewhere in the nation, resulting in a spike in overdose deaths in that category. The lethality of heroin and other opioids is greater when used in combination with other categories of drugs, such as benzodiazepines or alcohol.

Read or download the full paper Texas Substance Use Disorder Landscape.

Methamphetamine Use

  • The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Field Divisions in Houston and Dallas have rated methamphetamine as the number one drug threat in Texas.
  • Four percent of people in poverty have used methamphetamine. In comparison, fewer than 3% of people in poverty have used heroin.

Read or download the Texas Substance Use Disorder Landscape Supplement: Methamphetamine Use.

As a matter of background, MMHPI also provides a  Glossary of Terms for Substance Use Disorder.